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[Adapted from publisher-provided promotional materials by English Book Review Editor, Janny HC Leung]M. Catherine Gruber (2014) I’m Sorry for What I’ve Done: The Language of Courtroom Apologies. Oxford University Press, USA, ISBN: 978-0-19-932566-5This book examines 52 apologetic allocutions produced during federal sentencing hearings. The practice of inviting defendants to make a statement in their own behalf is a long-standing one and it is understood as offering defendants the opportunity to impress a judge or jury with their remorse, which could be a factor in the sentence that is imposed. Defendants raised the topics of the offense, mitigation, future behaviour and the sentence in different ways and this book explores the pros and cons associated with the different strategies that they used. Based on corpus data, Gruber argues that the application of Austin’s (1962) performative–constative continuum reveals that offense-related utterances that fall closer to the constative end are ..
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