Conviction pp 154-168 | Cite as

Conclusion and Implications

  • Doreen J. McBarnet
Part of the Oxford Socio-Legal Studies book series (OSLS)


This study set out to analyse the role of legal forms, powers, privileges, limitations, and rulings on the process of constructing conviction in court—conviction in both the subjective sense of how a judge or jury comes to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt of its verdict, and in the legal sense of a finding of guilt; for that, statistically, is the likely outcome of a foray into the criminal courts. The problem for the sociologist is how that is possible when all the rhetoric of the democratic ideology of justice proclaims that in the battle between the state and the accused the system is heavily biased in favour of the latter. By examining the law not just in terms of the general principles of its own ideology, but in terms of the details of its specific structures, procedures, and decisions, this analysis has tried to show that the law governing the production, preparation, and presentation of evidence does not live up to its own rhetoric.


Criminal Justice Civil Liberty Crime Control Capitalist Society Criminal Procedure 
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Copyright information

© Doreen J. McBarnet 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doreen J. McBarnet
    • 1
  1. 1.SSRC Centre for Socio-Legal StudiesWolfson CollegeOxfordUK

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