Justice through Apologies
In this follow up to I Was Wrong: The Meanings
of Apologies, Nick Smith expands his ambitious theories of categorical apologies to civil and criminal law. After rejecting
court-ordered apologies as unjustifiable humiliation, this book explains that penitentiaries were originally designed to bring
about penance - something like apology - and that this tradition has been lost in the assembly line of mass incarceration.
Smith argues that the state should modernize these principles and techniques to reduce punishments for offenders who demonstrate
moral transformation through apologizing. Smith also explains the counterintuitive situation whereby apologies come to have
considerable financial worth in civil cases because victims associate them with priceless matters of the soul. Such confusions
allow powerful wrongdoers to manipulate perceptions to disastrous effect, such as when corporations or governments assert
that apologies do not equate to accepting blame or require reform or redress.
1. Categorical apologies revisited; Part
I. The Penitent and the Penitentiary: Apologies in Criminal Law: 2. Against court ordered apologies; 3. Apology reductions
in criminal law; Part II. Apologies in Civil Law: 4. The institutional framework: economic outcomes and non-economic values;
5. A practical framework for evaluating apologies in civil contexts.
This book explains that penitentiaries were originally
designed to bring about penance, and that this has been lost in the assembly line of mass incarceration.