Steve has been accused of a particularly heinous crime, and the locals are screaming for blood. While the supporting cast believe that Steve is innocent and seek to prove he was WronglyAccused, Steve shocks everyone by admitting his guilt and preparing to accept whatever they do to him, as he's convinced that he deserves it and that {{Forgiveness}} Requires Death. It doesn't help matters that the grieved UntrustingCommunity usually has archaic laws where the penalty for Steve's crime ([[AllCrimesAreEqual and all crimes in general]]) [[DisproportionateRetribution is death]]. Usually [[CruelAndUnusualDeath in a brutal manner at that]].

In this setup, the supporting cast generally divides into three reactions:

* ''[[MoralMyopia This doesn't apply to us. Why bother accepting their law?]]'' The team member that thinks the group's higher calling supersedes some pathetic village folk. Will often try to talk Steve into a morally dubious jailbreak. Steve won't listen because he is a SlaveToPR.
* ''You don't deserve this!'' The most common. The group that tries to find a way to prove Steve's innocence, while simultaneously getting him to accept it himself, lest the episode end in a FamilyUnfriendlyAesop regarding the legal system.
* ''[[WhatTheHellHero I can't believe you could do such a thing! How can I ever trust you again?]]'' The people that agree with Steve, due to a narrow black and white view of morality. Often at odds with the previous two.

Distinct from RedemptionEqualsDeath, which is the tendency of {{Heel Face Turn}}ers to [[KilledOffForReal buy it]] in a HeroicSacrifice soon after changing sides. An extreme case of SelfRestraint.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'', Vash [[FirstEpisodeSpoiler is such a pacifist]] that he holds himself liable for the deaths of people killed by the villain. Thus, when people learn his identity, capture him, and proceed to torture him with every intention of eventually killing him, all he can do is submit. He even states that he's to blame. It's only the interference of those he's befriended that stops the violence and frees him.
* Pretty much the whole point of the Soul Society arc in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''. [[DamselInDistress Rukia]] has pretty much accepted her fate. Her TrueCompanions don't see it that way, of course, all the way down to the guy who [[AloofAlly supposedly hates everyone like her]]. It could have been {{Narm}}tastic, but somehow it works out to about one SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome every few episodes and a handful of SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments to boot.

* In ''Franchise/StarWars'': ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', the ''[[CoolStarship Millennium Falcon]]'' successfully escapes the pursuit of an Imperal Star Destroyer in an asteroid field. Captain Needa, knowing full well what's going to happen, visits Vader personally to take full responsibility for his failure. Vader forgives him...after [[YouHaveFailedMe he executes Needa]] by way of implied Force choke.
--> '''Vader:''' "Apology accepted, Captain Needa."

* ''Literature/CryTheBelovedCountry''
* In the first book of the ''Literature/HIVESeries'', [[spoiler:the Contessa]] appears to be a Face who just happens to be creepy. In book two, she [[spoiler:is bought by Cypher and assists in the intended demolition of the school, the kidnapping of Laura and Shelby, and the apparent death of Wing]]. Everyone who knows about the incident is practically vying for the opportunity to exact their revenge, but [[spoiler:are under the impression that Number One killed her]]. This turns out to not be true in book three, when [[spoiler:she is appointed by Number One to run the [=HIVE=]. However, when the school is slated for destruction, she acts as a suicide bomber to blow up the would-be killers]]. [[spoiler:She]] is remembered fondly for the rest of the series, which contributed to [[spoiler:the Alphas accepting her granddaughter, Lucy]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' did this with Teal'c attempting to die for the murder of a local's father when he was Apophis's [[TheDragon First Prime]]. Naturally, the fact that Apophis had threatened to kill ''everybody'' if he didn't [[ShootTheDog kill one guy]] did little to touch the "judge", who was the victim's son. [[ValuesDissonance By design]]. Further complicating things is the people would run when the gate activates but [[NoOneGetsLeftBehind move at the pace of the slowest person]]. The man he killed is crippled and silently nods to be killed to help save more people the next time.
** Teal'c even hides the fact that he did it to save the rest of the community from his friends because he truly believes he deserves the punishment and doesn't want his friends defending his actions.
* This is the main plot of the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Duet": a minor bureaucrat in an infamous Cardassian labor camp attempts both to atone for his moral cowardice and to bring his government to account for its atrocities by impersonating the camp's commandant and submitting to a Bajoran war crimes tribunal, where he would face almost certain death.
** In the ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' episode "The Adversary", Odo killed another Changeling to prevent him from killing the crew of the Defiant. By doing this, he broke the law of his people [[ApeShallNeverKillApe never to kill a fellow Changeling]]. Although Odo had previously broken with his people and the Federation was soon to be at war with them, he headed to his home planet anyway, since he believed he deserved to be tried for his deed. The trial ended with Odo being found guilty and turned into a human, which basically meant his death as a Changeling.
*** Of course, this doesn't last and half a season later he's been turned back after absorbing the remains of a dying infant Changeling he had befriended. When he next encounters the Female Changeling who seems to have presided over the decision to turn him human, she considers the matter behind them, he's a Changeling again and "all is forgiven". Odo points turns this trope around her, declaring that while she/they may have forgiven him, he hasn't forgiven ''them'' (its unclear whether he means for turning him human or for being LawfulEvil interstellar warlords)
* ''Series/BostonLegal'', "Death Be Not Proud": James Spader goes down to Texas to try and get a kid spared from the death penalty, but cannot because the kid has been told so many times that he was guilty that he'd convinced himself of it. Ends with a passionate speech against the death penalty, and then a horrible scene where the kid dies. Emotional TV.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', the final episodes from season one (Shockwave Part 1). As the crew visits a mining colony with a highly inflammable atmosphere the air suddenly ignites and the entire planet's surface is destroyed (along with the thousands or so of workers on it). While the officers claim to have followed procedures exactly it seems undeniable that the blast originated from ''Enterprise''[='=]s shuttle and the colonist's homeworld demands retribution while the Vulcans use it as another argument to get ''Enterprise'' out of space.
* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', Literature/SnowWhite seems to take this attitude in the letter she sent to the Evil Queen after she realizes that the Queen had sent a huntsman to kill her. In the letter, she admits that it is her fault that the Queen "will never know true love, so it is only fitting that I be denied that same joy." However, Snow is quick enough to run off when the Huntsman gives her the chance, so this may not actually be how she feels.

* In the second album by Music/TheProtomen, ''Father Of Death'', Dr. Light is framed for the murder of his girlfriend by Dr. Wily. Because Light built the robot that Wily used to kill her, he feels so guilty and hopeless that even when he's acquitted in court, he doesn't resist when Wily whips up a lynch mob out for his blood. His security detail getting him on a train out of TheCity is the only reason he lives long enough to make his plans to overthrow Wily.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Embraced in spirit, if not letter, by ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', where the Imperium of Man's take on this is Forgiveness Requires a FateWorseThanDeath.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[spoiler:Cole Phelps]] from ''VideoGame/LANoire''
* In the No Mercy path of ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', if you fall for the FinalBoss's [[spoiler:false offer of mercy, he will kill you and inform you that "if we're really friends, you won't come back [from death]."]] The reason for this is the fact that the boss is aware of [[spoiler:your ability to hit the ResetButton, which re-starts the game with everyone alive]]. After all, if you're ''truly'' remorseful for killing everyone, why ''wouldn't'' you [[spoiler:bring them back and avoid killing them in the first place]] if you have the ability to do so?

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': "Avatar Day". But, thanks to issues with {{Reincarnation}}, the accused wasn't expecting to make a guilty plea beforehand.
* Happened to GreenLantern John Stewart in the animated ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' (and the comic-book story the episode was based on). He was framed into thinking a stray blast from his ring destroyed a nearby inhabited planet as part of a larger plot.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The death of Socrates.
* Honor killings. In order for a woman who has "shamed" her family to be forgiven, they have to murder her. [[ValuesDissonance Accepted and encouraged in parts of the world, treated as murder everywhere else,]] [[DoubleStandard and doesn't apply to men who do the same thing.]]
* {{Seppuku}}, an old Japanese ritual suicide. Its almost a guarantee of forgiveness because it would be rude to deny it after someone disembowels himself for it.