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Blamestorming, blamemongers and scapegoatsAllocating blame in the criminal justice process$
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Gavin Dingwall and Tim Hillier

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305002

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305002.001.0001

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Blamestorming and blamemongers

Blamestorming and blamemongers

(p.153) Eight Blamestorming and blamemongers
Blamestorming, blamemongers and scapegoats

Gavin Dingwall

Tim Hillier

Policy Press

Chapter Eight concludes the book by expanding on the process of blamestorming and the role played by the blamemongers. Too often the allocation of blame is simplistic and arbitrary and reflects little more than the ability of the powerful to coerce the marginalised or vulnerable. Too often the force of the rhetoric drowns out the lack of substance behind the claim. Critically, these scenarios are becoming more common as society loses the ability to appreciate that individual blame cannot always be found when harm occurs. We also document, however, many instances where the law has evolved in order to protect the blameless and the courts still display the confidence to justify their decisions on this basis. Although the blame culture is insidious and the criminal law has been allowed to mushroom as a consequence, blame can and should inform progressive criminal justice reform. Blame may be a contested and a complex concept, but it has resonance and power and there would appear to be widespread agreement that it should play some role in setting the parameters of the criminal law.

Keywords:   blamemongers, scapegoats, blamestorming, blame culture, progressive reform, marginalised

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