Extreme restorative justice

Nurse, Angus (2015) Extreme restorative justice. In: Graphic Justice: Intersections of Comics and Law. Giddens, Thom, ed. Glasshouse Book Series . Routledge, Abingdon Oxfordshire, pp. 130-141. ISBN 9781138787995

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Abstract

DC Comics’ Vertigo title 100 Bullets provides a narrative concerning flaws inherent in contemporary crime control. Justice is the preserve of the wealthy, traditional notions of law and order are shown to be inadequate to deal with crimes of the powerful, and corruption is endemic to criminal justice systems. Retribution and restoration are central concepts in its visualization of broken criminal justice, in perpetual conflict between the needs of victims
and the desires of the powerful.

This chapter conceptualises a notion of extreme restorative justice, using the term to reflect the conflict between revenge and restoration as 100 Bullets’ core justice narrative.
Braithwaite argues for ‘reintegrative shaming’, disapproval of the crime act within a continuum of respect for the offender, as a means of preventing crime through forgiveness. The term extreme restorative justice is demarcated from traditional restorative justice by 100Bullets’ focus on victim-offender discourse on the impact of crime and victims’ sense of
closure. Braithwaite identifies restorative conferences as a means through which offender
and victim discuss the consequences of a crime and draw out the feelings of those who have
been harmed.4 But in accordance with Foucault’s conception that power exists only when it is
put into action, one aspect of restorative justice is to give power back to the victim.5 This
approach is central to 100 Bullets’ exploration of victims’ closure and addressing the harmful impact of crime through victim-offender interaction. Accordingly it represents a form of
restorative justice, albeit an extreme representation akin to vigilantism, consistent with 100 Bullets’ normative violent world. While retribution is sometimes the means through which
victims restore their harm, this is not always the case and this chapter identifies that victim/offender discussion and mediation significantly influence the outcome and decisions made by
victims concerning restoration versus retribution.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords (uncontrolled): comics restorative justice violence popular culture and law law and literature crime media and culture
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 15175
Notes on copyright: Permission with 18 month embargo from publication date.
Depositing User: Angus Nurse
Date Deposited: 11 May 2015 09:49
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2019 21:16
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/15175

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