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Double Injustice, Double Trauma: The effects of acquittal of offenders upon the families of victims of homicide

Thiel, D (2013) Double Injustice, Double Trauma: The effects of acquittal of offenders upon the families of victims of homicide. UNSPECIFIED. Justice After Acquittal.

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Abstract

Based on in-depth interviews with members Justice After Acquittal - a self-help and campaign group formed by the families of victims of homicide where offenders are seen to have been unjustly acquitted - this study describes and analyses the issues, problems and injustices that the families? experienced at each stage of the criminal justice process, from initial police investigations though to the trial and beyond. The families craved information about what had happened to the victim and what would subsequently happen in response, and they understandably became preoccupied with the details of the police investigation and court case. In order to help them comprehend the homicide and adapt to their trauma, families developed narratives in an attempt to understand the events and individuals surrounding the case. They drew their knowledge from what they knew about the deceased and their lives, the details they had gleaned about the events surrounding the homicide itself, and often also what they knew about the moral character of the suspected offenders. Acquittal, however, smashed those narratives. Families? outlooks were once again shaken, exacerbating their trauma. This forced them to examine and re-examine the police?s initial investigation, the trial, and the main participants that had acquitted, or aided the acquittal of the defendants, and it lead them to lose all faith in the criminal justice system.

Item Type: Monograph (UNSPECIFIED)
Uncontrolled Keywords: homicide, acquittal, trauma, bereavement, narrative, moral character
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2014 16:37
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:53
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/8773

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