The Influence of Accounts and Remorse on Mock Jurors' Judgments of Offenders
38 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2007
Date Written: July 3, 2007
Defendants often provide accounts that minimize their responsibility for the accused offense. Jurors attribute responsibility to defendants and decide legal outcomes based on the given account. The current research examined the effects of accounts (i.e., excuse, justification, denial, and no account) and the defendant's remorse display (i.e., remorseful, remorseless) on mock jurors' judgments. Participants acquitted the defendant in the denial condition most often and recommended the most lenient punishment in the justification condition. The remorseful defendant was found guilty more frequently than the remorseless defendant in the excuse, justification, and no account conditions. Limitations and future research are discussed.
Keywords: remorse, accounts, legal outcomes, responsibility attributions
JEL Classification: K49, K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation