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Can I Say I'm Sorry? Examining the Potential of an Apology Privilege in Criminal Law

Michael C. Jones

Arizona Summit Law School

December 17, 2012

This paper is written for the purpose of addressing the power and possibility of early apologies in the criminal justice system. As constructed, our criminal justice system rewards defendants that learn early in their case to remain silent, and punishes those that talk. Defendants that may want to offer an apology or allocution for the harm they’ve caused are often required to wait until a sentencing hearing, which may come months, or even years after the event in question. This paper proposes that the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure be modified to provide an exception for apology to criminal defendants. Apologies can play an invaluable role in the healing process for victims, defendants, family members and others tied together by the unfortunate events of a criminal prosecution. This paper seeks to further the comprehensive law movement approach that promotes a healing process for those involved in the criminal justice system.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: Comprehensive Law, Criminal Law, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, TJ, Restorative Justice

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Date posted: April 4, 2013 ; Last revised: May 14, 2013

Suggested Citation

Jones, Michael C., Can I Say I'm Sorry? Examining the Potential of an Apology Privilege in Criminal Law (December 17, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2245352 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2245352

Contact Information

Michael C. Jones (Contact Author)
Arizona Summit Law School ( email )
One North Central Ave.
14th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4414
United States
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