go scot-free

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go scot-free

To escape from some predicament, accusation, or wrongdoing without incurring any penalty or punishment; to be acquitted of all charges for some crime or crimes. It sickens me that all these bankers that ruined our economy get to go scot-free, while millions of people have suffered as a result. Due to an error in the filing of evidence by police, the suspect ending up going scot-free.
See also: go
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
It is a paradox that, in one respect, law enforcement agencies are aggressive in pursuing individuals suspected of corruption while, conversely, others accused of illegalities are left to go scot-free.
Pangilinan warned that targeting minors would allow criminal syndicates to go scot-free while the government looked like it was fighting crime.
He said it is easy for drug suspects to go scot-free by bribingunscrupulous government officials.
An activist of the trans community told The Express Tribune that as many as 62 members of their community have brutality been put to death and in most cases the killers were allowed to go scot-free.
In support of this bias to offenders is the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria which paved the way for an offender or convict to go scot-free through this modern concept of state pardon.
"No one should be allowed to go scot-free. These are millions and millions of government money," he said.
While myriad failures of the executive and the criminal justice system allow many an accused to go scot-free, in the judicial process against individuals accused of involvement in a crime that reshaped the country's politics, a higher standard of professionalism and commitment is required.
"If these traitors and psychopaths defaming the dignified Korean nation are allowed to go scot-free, the national reconciliation, unity and the building of a reunified powerful country will be delayed so much," the North's Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.
The chief justice remarked, 'our heads hang in shame due to the scandal,' adding that those bringing a bad name to Pakistan will not be allowed to go scot-free.
OTTAWA -- Awami Muslim League (AML) Chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Monday said that the Sharif family, reeling from the Panama Papers scandal, was desperate for a deal like National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to go scot-free, but they will not get any such deal.
The Minister reaffirmed his commitment that no official of the department found to have been involved in corrupt practices will be allowed to go scot-free.
Why have the big ones been allowed to go scot-free?
He deplore journalists were killed and beaten but the perpetrators allowed to go scot-free. He called for the authorities to deal sternly with the elements hindering media independence.
Washington, August 16 ( ANI ): Chris Brown, who was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run earlier in 2013, was allowed to go scot-free and cleared of all charges after reaching a civil compromise with the victim of the mishap.
The delegation alleged while a Minister in Jayalalithaa's Cabinet, Agri Krishnamurthy, had been left to go scot-free despite 'documentary evidence' of land grabbing against him, DMK men in 'legal possession' of land were arrested.