Vigilantes

Vigilantes

Vigilantes

In line with Dara N. Byrne

about Vigilantes in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Vigilante activity in the United States of America dates as far back as the mid-1700s. Waves of vigilantism spread across the country in order to deal with rising crime rates on the expanding frontier and in gold rush and mining communities around the time of the Civil War. Vigilance committees were usually formed by local men as an attempt at restoring law and order whenever there was an absence of a well-established legal institution or an inadequate law enforcement system. These committees were usually composed of prominent men who banded together to capture, try, and punish those who were perceived as engaging in unlawful activities. Many of their practices included beating, flogging, forced labor, or lynching, depending on the severity of the crime. Vigilantism is often characterized by moblike violence, but it is markedly different because vigilance committees use careful organization, planning, and structure, even if the committee exists only briefly.

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