by: Dr. Kevin Boully
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is sorry. Or is he? He certainly apologized. To everyone. A lot of times. But is he sorry? Is he remorseful? Do his constituents and his public audience genuinely believe him?
“I hurt my wife. I hurt my boys. I hurt friends like Tom Davis. I hurt a lot of different folks. And all I can say is I apologize.”
Others have already analyzed the merits of this apology, but the truth is, “I apologize” (no matter how many times you say it) is not all that Sanford and other transgressors can say – and it isn’t what onlookers and the public might want to hear. Experience, literature, and sound research  prove that social transgressors like Sanford, and more importantly that legal transgressors like Kenneth Lay, Enron, Union Carbide and many other corporate defendants since, have effective alternatives for credibly expressing remorse, accepting responsibility, and gracefully minimizing negative effects. And they can do it without the boomerang of creating mounds of anger and resentment from jurors and judges who stand in judgment.