Report No. 142
7.13. No social benefits accrue.-
This criticism is unwarranted. There are numerous advantages, e.g.:
(1) Saving of time cost and resources cost to courts which are already over loaded.
(2) Saving of money cost to the community as also to the accused.
(3) The faith in honesty is reinforced.
(4) Rehabilitation and reformation of the offender commences early and he can start a fresh life without loss of time.
(5) When the offender pleads guilty he feels cleansed of the feeling of guilt.
When an offender is punished after a trial consequent to his "plea of not guilty" he is lowered in his own eyes. The society by implication conveys to him that his protestation of innocence is found to be untrue. In the eyes of the society also he is lowered. If on the other hand he himself feels contrite and confesses his guilt the burden of guilt carried by him becomes lighter.
Atonement by the offender satisfies his conscience sets him free of the feeling of guilt in the inner-most recesses of his heart. It thus becomes the most important pathway on the ascent to moral heights and strengthens his resolve to lead a blemish free and pro-social life. If the atonement is deep and sincere, the offender is likely to have an abiding awareness that he has been morally reinstated. It also results in the object of protecting society being achieved along with attainment of the object of moral and social regeneration of the criminal.