Anatomy of a Murder

Traver, Robert

St. Martin's, 1983

p. 63

A veteran attorney speaks: “The law is the busy fireman that puts out society’s brush fires; that gives people a nonphysical method to discharge hostile feelings and settle violent differences; that substitutes orderly ritual for the rule of tooth and claw.  The very slowness of the law, its massive impersonality, its insistence on proceeding according to settled and ancient rules—all this tends to cool and bank the fires of passion and violence and replace them with order and reason.  That is a tremendous accomplishment in itself, however a particular case may turn out.”