Contrition is a religious concept,
and one easily mimed, for which there should be no consideration in a rational and fair legal proceeding.
What you are really referring to is the practice of pandering to the sentencing Judge's pampered sense of sadism by engaging in a (generally lawyer-advised) ritual bout of 'voluntary' self-abasement taking the form of grovelling apologies and abject pleas of misericordia. Those who are innocent or proud refuse to engage in this extra-judicial public auto-flagellation and so are otherwise punished with a more severe sentence within the (corrupt) Judge's 'discretion'. Those who do, get the sentence already decided upon - i.e. gain no benefit from the humiliation.
Another weighty factor here are the desired political effects, of which I can see two:
1. The lower classes must (re)learn that their place is toiling in silence, not embarrassing OverLords with disclosures about their vulnerabilities or crimes - lulz, satire or free speech against the ruling mafia will be severely punished.
2. Hackers must learn to tremble in pre-emptive fear of the Pentagovernment, and quietly render any discovered 0-Days to the CyberOffence Command for Droit-de-Seigneur-style exploitation against the fabricated enemies-du-jour, both foreign and domestic.
Of course, for the morose US legal body, in which the highest value is the perpetual impunity of State warcriminals and torturers, this kind of savage result is achieved during coffee breaks, hardly even counting as in the day's work.
So, au contraire - it's a filthy, rotten Injustice System, which earns no respect but rather an immeasurable contempt.
Free All Political Prisoners, Free Weev!