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Invasions of Conscience and Faked Apologies

Stephanos Bibas

University of Pennsylvania Law School

U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 08-25
in Criminal Law Conversations, 2009

This comment responds to an essay by Jeffrie Murphy, which powerfully notes the limitations and dangers of using remorse and apology as metrics for punishment. But the state is more justified in teaching lessons than Murphy suggests, and retributivism ought to make more room for victim vindication and satisfaction. Gauging sincerity, while difficult, is not impossible. In the end, Murphy offers strong reasons to be cautious. But a humane society ought to be more willing to take chances and, having punished, to forgive.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 3

Keywords: Remorse, apology, forgiveness, mercy, clemency, pardon, parole, sentencing, criminal procedure, criminal justice

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Date posted: June 11, 2008 ; Last revised: April 10, 2009

Suggested Citation

Bibas, Stephanos, Invasions of Conscience and Faked Apologies. U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 08-25; in Criminal Law Conversations, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1142943

Contact Information

Stephanos Bibas (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-746-2297 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/sbibas/
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