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Report No. 262

G. Reformation

4.9.1 The theory of reformation strives to transform all offenders into peaceful, productive and capable citizens of society. Reformation assumes that offenders are capable of change, and once the reasons for the commission of the crime are removed, they can lead ordinary and fulfilling lives.361

361 Andrew Ashworth, Sentencing and Criminal Justice 82 (2005).

4.9.2 While it is clear that when a person is sentenced to death, the ideal of reformation has clearly lost its priority in sentencing, discussions of reformation have often been (and indeed, are required to be) a part of death penalty adjudication. This is because reformation is a central normative commitment of our criminal justice system, and because only those offenders who are adjudged beyond reform, and proven to be so, through conclusive evidence adduced by the prosecution, can ever be sentenced to death.

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