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Allocution is the part of court proceedings in which a defendant about to be sentenced is permitted to address the court. In the United States early as 1689, it was recognized that the court’s failure to ask the defendant if he had anything to say before sentence was imposed required reversal. It is interesting to see what judges have to say about the matter. It is more or less expected that defendants allocute; as was noted in Burr v. Pollard, 546 F.3d 828 (2008), silence can be consistent not only with exercising one's constitutional right, but also with a lack of remorse. The latter is properly considered at sentencing because it speaks to traditional penological interests such as rehabilitation (an indifferent criminal isn't ready to reform) and deterrence (a remorseful criminal is less likely to return to his old ways)."
Blaming the victim
"I have had moving allocutions from illegal aliens, apologizing to the people of this country, expressing their love for this country, their dream since childhood of living here, and their regret that because of their actions they cannot return." -- Judge Brock Hornby
Because of THEIR actions, huh?
Saying that there are no victimless crimes
"My basic principles of allocution include: (1) a sincere demeanor; (2) a discussion of what 'taking full responsibility' actually means to the defendant; (3) an acknowledgment that there are victims (e.g., even when the PSR indicates “no identifiable victim,” as it does in most drug cases); (4) an understanding of how the crime affected the victims; (5) an expression of genuine remorse; (6) a plan to use prison or probation time in a productive manner; (7) a discussion of why the defendant wants to change his or her criminal behavior; and, perhaps most importantly, (8) information that helps humanize the defendant and the defendant’s role in the crime." -- Judge Mark W. Bennett
Number 3 is particularly interesting. Yeah, there are victims in every case the government brings, but sometimes those victims are the taxpayers and the defendant.
The concept of, "If your family can't handle your doing the time, then don't do the crime"
"Stale and rote allocutions of the narcissistic variety include: 'I really want to see my son graduate from high school.' Did you think about that when you were committing your crime?" -- Judge Mark W. Bennett
Why do we have to think about whether our loved ones will be made to suffer by the state because we exercised our rights in an illegal manner? (Rhetorical question)