Harsher in Hindsight: Robert Bolt was arrested for his involvement with the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament a year after the play debuted. Like Sir Thomas, Bolt refused to be bound over and was sentenced to several weeks in jail. Unfortunately for Bolt, he was working on Lawrence of Arabia at the time, and producer Sam Spiegel browbeat him into recanting.
Similarly, the idea that rules should be dispensed in order to punish someone who's Obviously Evil is a pretty stupid one.
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law! Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that! Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
What an Idiot: The Duke of Norfolk is short a few little gray cells, mostly so that the audience can get some much-needed legal exposition.