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“I’m Sorry for What I’ve Done” – The Language of Courtroom Apologies - Oxford Scholarship Online
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“I’m Sorry for What I’ve Done”: The Language of Courtroom Apologies

M. Catherine Gruber


This book examines fifty-two apologetic allocutions produced during federal sentencing hearings. Defendants raised the topics of the offense, mitigation, future behavior, and the sentence in diverse ways, and this book explores the pros and cons associated with different forms. Because we have no way of ascertaining exactly how effective (or ineffective) an individual allocution is, case law, sociolinguistic and historical resources, and judges’ final remarks are used to develop hypotheses about defendants’ communicative goals as well as what might constitute an ideal defendant stance from a j ... More

Keywords: apology, corpus, allocution, genre, mitigation, sentencing, formulaic language, performative language, style, language ideologies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199325665
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199325665.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

M. Catherine Gruber, author
University of Chicago