Making sense of ‘joint enterprise’ for murder: legal legitimacy or instrumental acquiescence?

The legal doctrine of ‘joint enterprise’ has been heavily criticized for lacking legitimacy, primarily linked to distributive (in)justice. This paper draws on the narratives of ‘joint enterprise prisoners’ serving long life sentences for murder to address such concerns and extend the discussion to q...

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Published in:The British journal of criminology
Main Author: Hulley, Susie
Contributors: Crewe, Ben (VerfasserIn); Wright, Serena (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:The British journal of criminology
Year: 2019, Volume: 59, Issue: 6, Pages: 1328-1346
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:The legal doctrine of ‘joint enterprise’ has been heavily criticized for lacking legitimacy, primarily linked to distributive (in)justice. This paper draws on the narratives of ‘joint enterprise prisoners’ serving long life sentences for murder to address such concerns and extend the discussion to questions of ‘legal legitimacy’. Prisoners who were early in their sentences explicitly rejected the legal legitimacy of joint enterprise, while those at a later stage reported ‘accepting’ their conviction and demonstrated ‘consent’ by engaging with their sentence. We argue that rather than representing normative acceptance of the legal legitimacy of joint enterprise over time, this acceptance is a form of instrumental acquiescence associated with ‘dull compulsion’ ‘coping acceptance’ and personal meaning making.
ISSN:1464-3529