This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The Second Tetralogy: Prosecution for Accidental Homicide
Reply to a Charge of Accidental Homicide
Second Speech for the Prosecution
 Further, the defence's own statements show that the accused cannot be acquitted either of error or of accidentally taking life, but that he and my son are equally guilty of both; I will prove this.1 Assume that because my son moved into the path of the javelin instead of standing still, he deserves to be treated as his own slayer. Then the lad is not free from blame either; he is only innocent if he was standing still and not throwing his javelin when the boy was killed. The boy's death was therefore due to both of them. Now the boy, whose error affected his own person, has punished himself even more harshly than that error warranted: for he has lost his life. So what right has his accomplice, who joined him in committing his unfortunate error, to escape unpunished?
1 An attempt to show the two-edged character of the arguments used by the defence. “If,” say the prosecution, “the dead boy has been proved guilty by the defence, then eo ipso the lad has been proved guilty too.”