go scot-free

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go scot-free

To escape punishment for a crime or wrongdoing; to be acquitted of charges for a crime. Mark's wealthy senator uncle influenced the jury, and he ended up going scot-free. My younger sister caused endless trouble as a child, but because she was the baby of the house, she usually went scot-free.
See also: go

go scot-free

 and get off scot-free
to go unpunished; to be acquitted of a crime. (This scot is an old word meaning "tax" or "tax burden.") The thief went scot-free. Jane cheated on the test and got caught, but she got off scot-free.
See also: go

get off/go ˌscot-ˈfree

(informal) escape from a situation without receiving the punishment you deserve: It seemed so unfair that she was punished while the others got off scot-free!This idiom comes from the old English word sceot, meaning a ‘tax’. People were scot-free if they didn’t have to pay the tax.
See also: get, go, off

go scot-free, to

To be let off without penalty or punishment. This expression has nothing to do with Scotland, but rather with the early meaning of scot, that is, a tax assessment. Thus scot-free meant not having to make such a payment, and later was extended to mean being exempted from other kinds of obligation, including punishment. The earliest use of the term dates from the Magna Carta of 1215. Later it was transferred to nonlegal issues, as in Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela (1740): “She should not, for all the trouble she has cost you, go away scot-free.”
See also: go
References in periodicals archive ?
In the Philippines one hears from whispers of sexual harassment and abuses and how perpetrators go scott free - by resigning from their jobs, leaving a professional organization before the ethics committee comes up with their findings and recommendation for expulsion, settling with victims with monetary payments and enforcing silence in return and with well-paid lawyers tie up the cases in court until the victims run out of resources.
He said that the perpetrator go scott free despite the efforts by the Pakistan Procurement Regulatory Authority (PEPRA) to put a check.
Those responsible for exodus from Bangalore will not go scott free," Singh told the media here.
Concept of broadening tax net does not seem to be taking off and the entire burden of the revenue remains on salaried people and the business community and that too only on a microscopic minority who maintain their books of Accounts while the rest go scott free.
Fouzia said that there were many flaws in our legal system due to which merely 20 percent of the terrorists were punished, while the remaing 80 percent go scott free.