Members of the Brotherhood -
When we re-wrote the Covenant, a lot of consideration was given to the penalties the Chamber of Justice inflicts upon members found guilty of infractions. This was, afterall, the first time the penalties had been documented in any way. As part of that process, a lot of debate was held over the Letter of Reprimand, specifically as to whether it would remain as a permanent symbol on a member's dossier versus being removable by the Justicar or Grand Master.
In the end, we decided that Letters of Reprimand can be removed only if the following criteria are met:
Keep in mind that this clause allows for the removal of the LoR only, but does not delete the case itself and record of the conviction from the CoJ records. A conviction is a conviction, and nothing I say in this post changes that. But I intend for this process to be transparent as to our reasonings for approval of requests, hence this post.
The Grand Master and I were approached by Wuntila Arconae to consider the removal of the LoR on his dossier. For those of you that may be unfamiliar with Wun's case, the information may be found on the wiki, Case No. 37. It has been nearly four years since he was convicted of abuse of power, cheating, and disreputable behavior. The trial was highly-charged and was a major event for all involved. Many people on both sides of the trial were emotionally taken by the outcome, and there are still some hard feelings today about the way the trial occurred. I was not personally involved, but know the facts and the players. It was not a pleasant experience for anyone.
Upon being approached by Wun, Pravus and I developed a list of questions that we wanted answered to help us determine whether it was appropriate to remove the LoR. Among the questions were requests that Wun tell us in his own words about what has changed in him since the trial, why the LoR should be removed, and whether he accepts the outcome of the case at this point. For me personally, I wanted to know if Wun was ultimately sorry for his actions, especially in relation to the way parties involved in the trial had been treated.
We received very detailed and well-considered responses from Wun. Pravus and I found his answers to be sincere and credible. We have both had interactions with Wun in the past and can see the changes in him. Ultimately, based on the matters contained in Wun's statements and the meeting of the criteria as detailed below, we have decided to GRANT Wun's request to have his Letter of Reprimand removed.
As to the specifics, the decision on whether a member is rehabilitated falls to the Justicar. I find Wun's rehabilitation to be complete. But let me explain what that really means in my mind. It is not a need for a member to become a completely different person, an angel amongst us. Neither is it necessary that the member must be liked by all and welcomed by past adversaries. We look at those things, but the main focus of the rehabilitation question is "will this happen again?" In Wun's case, the answer is clearly no, this will not happen again. Wun demonstrated to me a clear sincerity as to how the conviction had changed him, made him recognize his own arrogance and shortcomings, and really had him step back from everything to evaluate what is real and true. In that process, Wun realized that he did screw up and he readily admits his faults that led to the conviction. He is cognizant of what led him to that issue and has worked out the kinks so it doesn't happen again. Especially given the very specific nature of the charges and the facts, I view the likelihood of Wun being a problem in the future to be extremely low. That, his statements to me about how sorry he is, and his efforts to talk with and apologize to those that he wronged lead me to conclude that he is rehabilitated
The second criteria has been debated among us at length. Some view the LoR as a scarlet letter that a convicted person must wear forever. But to be so strict is to eliminate the new provisions of the Covenant. So the question that Pravus and I had to grapple with is "what is the purpose of the LoR?" There are two purposes, we decided: to protect members from those convicted by giving notice of the conviction, and to inflict harm to the record of the member. As to the first of these, Pravus and I do not believe that there is any threat of Wun escaping the legacy of this trial even if the LoR is removed. It will still be part of the DB record, and the DB has a long memory. The question is then whether there is any necessity to continue to mar Wun's record?
The answer is: not anymore. We view his time as being served. We believe that members in leadership now and for the coming years have knowledge of the trial without need for the LoR to show them. And we do not see the benefit of pushing these facts to new members that may come across Wun, given his penance and rehabilitation.
Further, we are mindful of a doctrine that I have tried to instill as Justicar for the last two years. That is, the DB has a long memory, but it will give second chances. People screw up. They take their punishment. We forgive them and move on. To not forgive is to let past transgressions continue to poison both the convicted and those judging him. Sometimes people deserve a fresh start, and this is just that.
To most of you, this will not seem like a big deal. To Wun it is. It is a history that he hopes to move beyond, and the constant reminder through the LoR has hindered that effort. I am hoping he can move on now. To those that dislike Wun for one reason or another, I hope that you will see the reasonings here and can accept them. I am happy to discuss them with you in private. The comments on this post are not being left open; this matter is closed and so is the trial from four years ago.
The Master at Arms is requested to remove the Letter of Reprimand from Wuntila Arconae's dossier. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Jac Cotelin, Justicar