It is a custom of our justice to condemn some as a warning to others. To condemn them because they have done wrong would be stupidity, as Plato says. For what is done cannot be undone. But they are condemned that they may not go wrong again in the same way, or that others may avoid following their example. We do not correct the man we hang; we correct others through him. I do the same. My errors are sometimes natural and incorrigible; but whereas honest men benefit the public by setting an example, I may perhaps benefit them by making them avoid my example.
— On the Art of Conversation
by Michel de Montaigne