"I am not the law, but I represent justice so far as my feeble powers go."Even the most casual reader of Sherlock Holmes stories could not fail to observe that the Great Detective values justice far above law.
-- Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of the Three Gables"
How many times does he induce Watson into committing burglary with him "in a good cause"? And Holmes himself acknowledges that he may be indirectly responsible for the death of Dr. Grimesby Roylott, "and I cannot say that it is likely to weight very heavily on my conscience."
But William Ruehlmann, in his 1974 book Saint With a Gun: The Unlawful American Private Eye, makes the interesting point that in practice Holmes often dispenses mercy rather than justice. Examples include "The Boscombe Valley Mystery," "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle," "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" and "The Adventure of the Abbey Grange."
In the last named, Holmes appoints himself judge and Watson the jury. Personally I would prefer a jury of twelve to a jury of one, even when the one is Watson.
What's your favorite quote from the world of Sherlock Holmes?