Source: (2000) Fordham Urban Law Journal. 27: 1583.

To explore issues of forgiveness in the criminal justice setting, Douglas Ammar begins with a summary of an actual case involving a murder. He describes a process of one person’s admission of responsibility as an accessory to the murder, as well as the person’s effort to apologize to the family of the victim, and the reaction of the family to the murder and the apology. This leads to discussion of three key considerations in the propriety of forgiveness in cases of criminal wrongdoing: the victim’s selfhood; the moral significance of forgiveness for the offender; and the well being of the community. In particular Ammar interacts with Jeffrie Murphy’s work on forgiveness as a qualified moral virtue, wherein Murphy articulates a criterion for adjudicating the appropriateness of forgiveness.