Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Should a Criminal Show Emotion in Court?

The recent trial of the Boston Marathon bomber has a lot of people talking. Tsarnaev was sentenced to death by a jury of his peers, and there was a lot of talk about his emotions—or should we say his lack thereof?

criminal defense attorney miami
During and after the verdict, Tsarnaev stood like a statue with no emotion or any signs of remorse. This display got people wondering: Should a criminal show remorse in court?

Remorse: A Sign of Guilt or Not?

The reason most criminal defendants are instructed to not show any signs of remorse is simple: they do not want to give off the perception of guilt. Showing any signs of remorse or even saying “sorry” during the trial could make the jurors assume the person is guilty, making it easier to hand down a conviction.

Even after a guilty verdict, it is in the best interest of the defendant to remain emotionless. If they express any emotions during sentencing and their case is appealed, then this could come back to hurt them.On the other hand, showing remorse can possibly help the defendant get a shorter prison sentence.

What About Those Who Are Clearly Guilty?

Those that refuse to plead guilty are better off leaving emotions at the door, but those who are clearly guilty, like the Boston Marathon bomber, do not necessarily have to leave emotions out. Had Tsarnaev expressed some emotion, he could have possibly escaped the death penalty.

Sentencing laws can vary depending on the amount of remorse. Remorse is a mitigating factor in serious crimes and sentences. If the judge feels that the defendant has shown a great deal of remorse, then he or she may not sentence as harsh of a penalty.

It’s Up to the Defense Team

A defendant should never have to sit there and figure out emotions. A criminal defense attorney will assess the jury and the factors of the case to decide whether or not a defendant should really show remorse.

No comments:

Post a Comment