How Do Different Case Conclusions Impact on Survivors of Homicide? Developing and Applying a Conceptual Framework to Organize Current Empirical Knowledge

AuthorPaul Mazerolle,Samara McPhedran,Li Eriksson,Chantelle Baguley
Publication Date01 Apr 2020
originalSourceSummarySupporting families and friends of homicide victims (‘survivors’) requires understanding how homicide impacts on survivors. Although recent work has examined how the loss of a loved one and events following a homicide—such as media coverage, the criminal justice processes and the perpetrator’s sentence—affects survivors, there has been little consideration of how final ‘case conclusions’ (other than the perpetrator’s sentence)—such as homicide–suicide, cold-case homicide or perpetrator declared permanently unfit for trial or acquitted of murder or manslaughter—impacts on survivors. This article examines existing literature about how different final case conclusions, other than the perpetrator’s sentence, impact on survivors. A novel conceptual framework—the ‘Homicide Case Pathway’—is presented to organize these efforts. There are shared and diverse effects of final case conclusions on survivors, centred on five key themes—emotions and feelings, denial of justice, lack of closure, belief in the system and hope. There is a clear need to conduct further research into the effect of final case conclusions on survivors, in order to better understand survivors’ experiences, and subsequently identify and implement suitably tailored victim support strategies for survivors.
DOI10.1177/2516606920927293
SubjectArticles
How Do Different Case
Conclusions Impact on
Survivors of Homicide?
Developing and
Applying a Conceptual
Framework to Organize
Current Empirical
Knowledge
Chantelle Baguley,1,2,3 Samara McPhedran,2,3
Li Eriksson2,4 and Paul Mazerolle2,3,5
Abstract
Supporting families and friends of homicide victims (‘survivors’) requires under-
standing how homicide impacts on survivors. Although recent work has examined
how the loss of a loved one and events following a homicide—such as media
coverage, the criminal justice processes and the perpetrator’s sentence—affects
survivors, there has been little consideration of how final ‘case conclusions’
(other than the perpetrator’s sentence)—such as homicide–suicide, cold-case
homicide or perpetrator declared permanently unfit for trial or acquitted of
murder or manslaughter—impacts on survivors. This article examines existing
literature about how different final case conclusions, other than the perpetrator’s
sentence, impact on survivors. A novel conceptual framework—the ‘Homicide
Case Pathway’—is presented to organize these efforts. There are shared
and diverse effects of final case conclusions on survivors, centred on five key
themes—emotions and feelings, denial of justice, lack of closure, belief in the
system and hope. There is a clear need to conduct further research into the effect
Article
Journal of Victimology
and Victim Justice
3(1) 57–71, 2020
2020 National Law
Universit y Delhi
Reprints and permissions:
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DOI: 10.1177/2516606920927293
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1 Social Sciences Building (M10), Griffith University (Mount Gravatt Campus), Mount Gravatt,
Queensland, Australia.
2 Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University, Mount Gravatt, Queensland, Australia.
3 Homicide Research Unit, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Queensland, Australia.
4 School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Mount Gravatt, Queensland, Australia.
5 Office of the Vice Chancellor, University of New Brunswick, New Brunswick Canada.
Corresponding author:
Chantelle Baguley, Social Sciences Building (M10), Griffith University (Mt Gravatt Campus), 176
Messines Ridge Rd, Mount Gravatt, Queensland 4122, Australia.
E-mail: c.baguley@griffith.edu.au

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