Commentary: Reflections on Remorse

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Vol. 42, Pg. 49, 2014

U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 15-34

8 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2015

See all articles by Stephen Morse

Stephen Morse

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

This commentary on Zhong et al. begins by addressing the definition of remorse. It then primarily focuses on the relation between remorse and various justifications for punishment commonly accepted in Anglo-American jurisprudence and suggests that remorse cannot be used in a principled way in sentencing. It examines whether forensic psychiatrists have special expertise in evaluating remorse and concludes that they do not. The final section is a pessimistic meditation on sentencing disparities, which is a striking finding of Zhong et al.

Keywords: Criminal law, forensic psychiatry, sentencing, justifications for blame and punishment, retribution, deterrence and incapacitation, nonpaternalistic and paternalistic rehabilitation, remorse and forensic practice, restitution, judges, judicial discretion

Suggested Citation

Morse, Stephen J., Commentary: Reflections on Remorse (2014). Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Vol. 42, Pg. 49, 2014; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 15-34. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2698698

Stephen J. Morse (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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