This chapter explores the possible moral grounds for releasing war criminals in the aftermath of a traumatic political conflict. It reports that forgiveness can justify an exception to retributive punishment only where there is repentance and reconciliation. It is noted that some terrorists might need to be released to advance peace and reconciliation does not at all mean that all of them ought to be released. Neglecting the punishment of war criminals can cause damage to the process of overcoming individual and collective trauma caused by rape, torture, and the intentional killing of the innocent. Repentance makes forgiveness and amnesty morally acceptable and dampens the possible harmful effects of amnesty on the ability of the victims to overcome their trauma.
|Title of host publication||Trauma and Memory|
|Subtitle of host publication||Reading, Healing, and Making Law|
|Editors||Austin Sarat, Nadav Davidovitch, Michal Alberstein|
|Place of Publication||Stanford|
|Publisher||Stanford University Press|
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - Jan 2008|