Sociology Publications and Other Works

Title

Remorse and Neutralization among Violent Male Offenders

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2003

Abstract

Expression of remorse by an offender to his or her victim represents healing in the aftermath of a crime. Thus, it is important to consider what may influence or impede remorse. This article analyzes interviews with 27 men who committed serious violent crimes to examine their talk about victims, responsibility, and remorse. Most of the men excused or justified their crimes using cultural discourses about violence and blameworthy victims. They spoke of feeling sorry for themselves, not for their victims. Men who expressed remorse perceived their victims as morally blameless. They humanized their victims, and their victims humanized them.

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