William Barclay on John 8 and Authority

The second duty of authority is to seek to reclaim the wrongdoer. Any authority which is solely concerned with punishment is wrong; any authority which, in its exercise, drives a wrongdoer either to despair or to resentment is a failure. The function of authority is not to banish sinners from all decent society, still less to wipe them out; it is to make them into good citizens. Those who are set in authority must be like wise physicians; their one desire must be to heal.

William Barclay, commentary on John 8