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Restorative justice for making plea bargains

February 25, 2013

Restorative justice is used for serious crimes including murder (it is especially effective for this level of serious felonies), but usually it’s only used after a person has pleaded guilt. Last year the Oprah Winfrey Network did documentaries of 4 cases concerning homicides that were held in prisons (I facilitated one).

Face-to-face restorative justice meetings are almost always used after conviction or for diverting cases before they go to the criminal justice system or trial for resolution. I’ve never heard of a murder case being diverted, neither had Tullis who wrote, “no one I spoke to had ever heard of restorative justice applied for anything as serious as murder” for diversion. Yet, it would be possible to divert a murder case to a restorative process, and maybe any that have been diverted have not been discussed because of the potential for political backlash (e.g. alleged failure to be “tough on crime.”)

Read the whole article.


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