The commission chose to grant amnesty in exchange for the whole truth: a complete disclosure of all the relevant facts relating to the offense for which amnesty was being sought. A confessing perpetrator bore the stigma of public shame and humiliation regarding his crime, which frequently included very real family and career consequences.

The commission also created a means by which rehabilitation and re-acceptance into the community was possible, providing healing and reconciliation for victims and perpetrators alike.

Contrast this with the usual criminal justice system: in most criminal cases it is “The State vs. [Perpetrator],” as if the crime has been committed against “The State” rather then the individual(s) actually harmed. Indeed, the victim is rarely any part of the trial at all. The criminal owes a debt to “society;” the victim receives no restitution for his/her loss. Though in the case cited above the perpetrator has been ordered to pay the victim and his family $130,000 that he presumably does not have—else why was he attempting to rob a gas station—what State penitentiary system is set up for prisoners to be other than a continual, huge financial drain on their tax-paying victims?

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