Mediating punitiveness: understanding public attitudes towards work-related fatality cases
This paper concerns an empirical investigation into public attitudes towards work-related fatality cases, where organizational offenders cause the death of workers or members of the public. This issue is particularly relevant following the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 into UK law. Here, as elsewhere, the use of criminal law against companies reflects governmental concerns over public confidence in the law’s ability to regulate risk. The empirical findings demonstrate that high levels of public concern over these cases do not translate into punitive attitudes. Such cases are viewed rationally and constructively, and lead to instrumental rather than purely expressive enforcement preferences.