The Regrettable Emphasis on ‘Remorse’

The good doctor laments the faulty emphasis on remorse in the granting of parole in many Western criminal justice systems in his Quadrant column.

It is obvious that where there is both a demand and a reward for expressions of remorse, there will be a supply. Where such expressions are rewarded, it is impossible to know whether or not they are sincere. And yet a strange degree of importance is attached by our criminal justice system to precisely such expressions. You pretend to be sorry, and we’ll pretend to believe you.

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