Fear and Loathing, Terror and Threat: ‘Are they Tough Enough to Bring Back the Noose?’



Abstract: As late modernity has re-conceptualised criminal punishment, facilitating a rise in restorative justice ideology, community sentencing, and reformatory idealism, beneath the veneer of that progression is an increasing public yearning for corporality that underpins grass-roots dissatisfaction, and a perceived perversity of victim identification in criminal interactions. Now, as the threat of street violence has been vigorously propagated and sensationalised as lethal and indiscriminate, the punitive sentiment it provokes adds to a swelling of public fear and loathing that counterpoint the civilising progression of contemporary criminal punishments: ‘are they tough enough to bring back the noose?’.