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Putting Wrongs to Right: Campaigns Against Miscarriages of Justice.

Grieve, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) Criminology & Criminal Justice: An International Journal. 7(1):83-105.

This study explored the factors contributing to successful outcomes for campaigns against miscarriages of justice.The analysis indicates that two main factors that have been integral to the success of campaigns against miscarriages of justice: (1) the ability of campaigns to access the social resources and social capital (power) associated with campaigning networks; and (2) the ability of victims and families associated with injustices to provide resilience and cohesion to the campaign effort. Indeed, the authors assert that the most successful campaigns are those with closest proximity to the victims of miscarriages of justice, particularly families. Victims of miscarriages of justice are typically in vulnerable and powerless circumstances when they first seek to expose the injustice. It is only through accessing social networks and resources, such as the media and legal professions, that they are able to wield more power and influence. The authors outline the importance of the study of campaigns against miscarriages of justice, illustrating that such campaigns shape criminal justice policy and can also be seen as forms of restorative justice in practice. Justice campaigns and restorative justice share many similarities, including the centrality of the victim, the desire for a dialog with the offender, and a concern for reparation and reconciliation. For the current analysis, miscarriages of justice were defined as both wrongful convictions and the failure of agencies to act appropriately, referred to as “not doing enough.” The authors drew from a wide range of past and current campaigns for their analysis, including campaigns involving families and friends, politicians, lawyers, investigative journalists and the media, unions, and celebrities. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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