A Thing of Eternity wrote:If the defendant is found innocent they are torn limb from limb is what I remember, but if they're found guilty they get some lesser sentence. I never have figured out why, and what FH was trying to tell us with that.
Hm, it's not that difficult. In Gowachin court, the law is on trial, not the defendant. If a defendant is found to be guilty, then clearly the law is wrong, necessitating a major change in Gowachin society.
This way, the Gowachin avoid the buildup of silly historical laws (example here). It's not altogether different from a common law court overruling precedent, but taken to much greater extremes. (Also, common law jurisdictions are infamous for acquiring mountains of legal legacy over time, the exact thing the Gowachin want to avoid).
The lawyers' lives are on the line precisely to avoid either of them from being too complacent in pushing the argument.