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THE COURT: I don't think I have time to listen .... I am not going to reexamine your guilt or innocence here. That is not the purpose of a sentence.. THE DEFENDANT: I did not have the chance to tell you .... THE DEFENDANT: But, your Honor, listen to me-1 Should the court hear this defendant? Is the story of innocence relevant at allocution-the defendant's opportunity to speak on his or her own behalf at the sentencing hearing prior to the imposition of sentence? Or, is the purpose of allocution something different, as the judge suggests? The answers depend on articulating a coherent account of the historic practice of allocution and its place within the modem criminal system, a task I take up in this Article.