This narrow focus on individual badness slights the broader value of remorse and apology and misses a crucial point. Crime is more than just individual wrongdoing; it harms social relationships. Currently, remorse and apology are poor gauges of how much deterrence and retribution individual offenders need. Ideally, these tools would play much larger roles in mending the social, relational harms from crime. Remorse and apology serve only as valuable ways to heal wounded relationships, vindicate victims, and educate, reconcile, and reintegrate offenders into the community.
Criminal procedure should encourage and use remorse and apology to serve these substantive values at every stage, from before arrest through charging to pleas and sentences. The broader aim is twofold: to recognize the social dimension of criminal wrongdoing and punishment, and to break down the artificial separation between substantive values and criminal procedure by harnessing procedure to serve the criminal law's substantive moral goals.