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Forgiveness and the state

June 20, 2009

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

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

Read the whole entry.


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