CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, March 10, 2017

van Oorschot et al. on Remorse in Context(s)

Irene van Oorschot, Peter Mascini and Don Weenink (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Faculty of Social Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Law and University of Amsterdam) has posted Remorse in Context(S): A Qualitative Exploration of the Negotiation of Remorse and its Consequences (Social & Legal Studies, 2017 (This is a pre peer reviewed version of the published article)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The presence or absence of ‘signs of remorse’ is often understood to have consequences for judges’ sentencing decisions. However, these findings raise the questions, firstly, how ‘remorse’ is communicated and demonstrated by defendants within court settings, and secondly, whether remorse plays a uniform role across and between various offense and offender types. Drawing on ethnographic data gathered in a Dutch criminal court, we contextualize remorse to answer these questions. First, we embed the performance of remorse in the court context, where defendants have to negotiate potentially competing legal and moral narrative demands. Second, we draw attention to the context of three different typified whole-case narratives, within which defendants' performances of remorse assume differential levels of importance. In doing so we seek to complicate binary portrayals of the role and consequences of remorse, arguing for a more holistic and narrative understanding of sentencing practices.

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