Back to RJ Archive

Forgiveness and the Law-A Redemptive Opportunity

Ammar, Douglas
June 4, 2015

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.


AbstractCourtsForgivenessPrisonsRJ OfficeVictim Support
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now