Remorse, Penal Theory and Sentencing

By Hannah Maslen

This book addresses a contested but under-discussed question in the field of criminal sentencing: Should an offender's remorse affect the sentence he or she receives? Answering this question involves tackling a series of others: Is it possible to justify mitigation for remorse within a retributive sentencing framework? Precisely how should remorse enter into the sentencing equation? How should the mitigating weight of remorse interact with other aggravating and mitigating factors? Are there some offense or offender characteristics that preclude remorse-based mitigation? Remorse is recognized as a legitimate mitigating factor in many sentencing regimes around the world, with powerful effects on sentence severity. Although there has been some discussion of whether this practice can be justified within the literature on sentencing and penal theory, this book provides the first comprehensive and in-depth study of possible theoretical justifications. While the emphasis here is on theoretical justification, the book also offers analysis of how normative conclusions would play out in the broader context of sentencing decisions and the guidance intended to structure them. The conclusions reached have relevance for sentencing systems around the world. [Subject: Criminology, Penology, Criminal Law, Legal Philosophy]


Publication Date: 4/23/2015
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781849465434