Showing Remorse: Reflections on the Gap between Expression and Attribution in Cases of Wrongful Conviction

By Richard Weisman / Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, on 1 January 2004

This paper seeks first to show that persons who are convicted of crimes can be perceived as either remorseful or as lacking in remorse. This division establishes a moral hierarchy that has profound implications for the characterization and disposition of persons who are so designated. Second, using both Canadian and American cases, it looks at how inclusion in the category of the unremorseful affects the characterization and disposition of those who have been wrongfully convicted. Finally, it suggests that remorse is a major site of conflict between persons who are wrongfully convicted and officials within the criminal justice system, conflict that involves the use of institutional pressure to encourage the expression of remorse, on the one hand, and the mobilization of individual resources to resist those expressions.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list Canada
  • Themes list Networks,