Especially people accused of serial sexual abuse or grand theft, generally, seem to have no trouble lying over and over again that they’re totally innocent. They can say it with real anger and indignation. And the indulgence is free of charge. If they’re acquitted, it’s not counted against them. But also when they’re sentenced, all the denials, and the extra suffering they brought upon the victims, and the cost of the drawn-out procedures, is not held against the defendant. This needs to stop.
When someone is convicted, the sentence should be augmented every time the defendant claimed to be innocent or appeals the sentence, aggravating the pain of the victims or survivors and heaping costs on the justice system. The victims should hope that an eventual conviction will be more severe because of all the chutzpah of the callous refusals.
And what should such a defendant do instead? Firstly, to admit at once. Then, accept the verdict. Ask for forgiveness without demanding it. And then dedicate their lives to the opposite of their crime. They stole – they should speak out about integrity and the importance of it, the silliness of assuming that you won’t be caught, and the bad life you ‘earn’ by deceit. They abused – they should teach about the sacredness of touch and the autonomy of others. Etc. When people went so wrong, their life is not over. It has only just started. By slowly really making up for their faults, they really can reclaim the value of their life. It’s a hard but worthy job.