“I never heard tell that it’s against the law for a citizen to do his utmost to prevent a crime from being committed, which is exactly what he did, but maybe you’ll say it’s my duty to tell the town all about it and not hush it up. Know what’d happen then? Know what’d happen then? All the ladies in Maycomb includin’ my wife’d be knocking on his door bringing angel food cakes. To my way of thinkin’, Mr. Finch, taking the one man who’s done you and this town a great service an’ draggin’ him with his shy ways into the limelight – to me, that’s a sin. It’s a sin and I’m not about to have it on my head. If it was any other man, it’d be different. But not this man, Mr. Finch.”

– Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 30. Sheriff Heck Tate suggests to Atticus that Boo Radley was the person responsible for killing Bob Ewell. But Tate goes against the letter of the law when he says that the killing prevented a crime and suggests an investigation would only bring acute pain to Boo Radley. He advocates a cover up and that they should stay silent.