remorse-detectingremorsepaper.doc

And his dismal inability to appreciate the impact of

Info icon This preview shows pages 23–27. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
of remorse ... and his dismal inability to appreciate the impact of the offence on the family, friends, and associates of the victim.” Moreover, the offender must agree that the actions for which he or she was convicted are morally reprehensible. As one judge admonished a woman who admitted guilt and was convicted of infanticide in the death of her 22 month old son- “rather than viewing your grossly abusive conduct as just that, you have attempted to rationalize it as legitimate, albeit perhaps somewhat excessive corporal punishment.” Or, as formulated in another judgement, a man who was -23-
Image of page 23

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
convicted of criminal negligence was credited with expressed remorse for pleading guilty but “this factor is discounted to a degree because of (his) initial denial and subsequent offloading of his actions on to others.” Just as the court looks to conduct for the proof of remorse, so obvious discrepancies between expressions of remorse and behavior at the scene of the crime or any of other several phases of prosecution can invalidate these claims. One young man’s claims to remorse were invalidated by police reports that he had joked with friends after committing the offence; another offender’s claim to remorse was discredited when it was reported that his last words to his victim were ‘ go to hell.’ Or another offender is described as merely ‘mouthing words of remorse’ or exhibiting a “sham remorse” when his claims are contradicted by his deeds. -24-
Image of page 24
But the category of remorse enables the court to go much further in canvassing the conduct of the offender than merely observing discrepancies between what is avowed and what is reported. Just as visible suffering that was perceived as commensurate with the gravity of the offence was credited with remorse, so an absence of affect or an insufficiency of palpable suffering show the offender to be without remorse. 15 In one case, an offender who had been convicted of robbery is described as not showing remorse even though he pleaded guilty- “I have to weigh the guilty plea as a factor in sentencing... but notwithstanding that I see no remorse. I saw the accused testify and he is not remorseful.” In another case, the gap between the enormity of the offense and the lack of affect was noted but accounted for-”the accused presented little or no remorse or affect. But the court must recognize that this has been addressed and explained by evidence of the defense, as a result of upbringing, as a result of his training in athletics, and as a result of advice -25-
Image of page 25

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
from counsel not to react .... As one judge explained in relation to an offender who was convicted of criminal harassment of a Jewish center, “in order to demonstrate remorse, it is not necessary for the accused or any one else to get down on their hands and knees and beg for mercy, but I have not observed one tangible step taken by the accused to acknowlege guilt in a general way or to demonstrate that he regrets doing what he did.” A lack of remorse can also be reflected in the offender’s demeanor. In judicial terms, demeanor refers
Image of page 26
Image of page 27
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern