The word “criminal” is loaded with presumptions and negative connotations. It is imbued with so many conflicts of heart and mind that many people face in a general way. These include victim-aggressor, guilty-innocent, or perhaps even most broadly, right-wrong, good-bad. What I’d like to offer here is the clarification of the context of criminality from the vantage of law, which is to say, the authoritative context from which the concept resides within. If law created the term, then it is the law that ultimately presides as the authority of its right understanding.
Presumption of Innocence : The presumption of innocence means that innocence is the context that shapes your vantage point. When such a principle is your guiding light, you do not see the world as guilty, but rather understand that it is in fact the innocence of all people that leads to all misunderstanding, misappropriation and misguided actions. This principle is foundational to the body of criminal law in most jurisdictions. And as always, its most effective usage starts within oneself. Can you take a moment to reserve judgment and just see the goodness in another human being? Or perhaps most importantly, in yourself? That is the question that leads to the wise disposition that is integrated into all criminal law.
Mens Rea and Actus Rea : The dichotomy of these two concepts, sheds light on the notion that it is the motive (mens rea) not the act (actus rea) that is of paramount importance. Motive, or intention, which can be qualified with the level of premeditation or other factors, is critical from the perspective of situational justice. Therefore, taking the time to identify context, situational influences and the intentional construct of a person, is a quality of fundamental justice in any given scenario.
Proportionality : In the event of rightful attribution of a criminal act, the principle of proportionality is the guiding principle in the construction of punitive measures. This is commonly referred to in the idiom “the punishment must fit the crime” which therefore forbids cruel and unusual punishment in the exercise of authority. Anchoring yourself to this guiding principle is a protective assurance of criminal law.
OUR DECLARATIVE STATEMENT
Using these three principles as The Light of Justice which shapes our context of the criminal rejustice objective, we also declare the right for all persons to restore and reclaim their own innocence if and when the requisite conditions are cultivated in one’s life. We therefore offer our support towards a more equitable and just pathway forward, with the programs of Octagon and any and all of its strategic allies.
Dalia Rey, BBA, LLM
Founder & Managing Partner
OCTA LAW & ASSOCIATES
Our Pathway of Potential is a Flagship program offered by Octagon and its partners. We offer two streams of action: leadership and retraining. Leadership journeys are for individuals from traditional or non-traditional backgrounds who are looking for potentials towards The World Class. In contrast, retraining journeys are for persons who have criminal or other restrictive backgrounds. If you are willing to do the work and put in the effort required, we offer the possibility for opportunities within the bounds of equal human dignity for all.
All persons who successfully participate in our Pathway of Potential program will be assessed and offered placements within our own corporate family of Octagon Strategic Enterprises, or other partner companies in some specific instances. The key objective is to allow for opportunities for meaningful economic participation within the context of (i) capability development, (ii) human dignity through societal contribution and (iii) situational justice (contextual fairness).