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What Is Vigilantism?
Vigilantism is the act of taking the law into one’s own hands and attempting to bring about justice according to one’s own sense of right and wrong. There are a number of motivations for acts of the vigilante:
- Personal agenda to protest existing law
- Enforce existing laws more efficiently
- Call attention to one’s belief of a higher law
- Call attention to a perceived failure by the government
Liability for retaliating or taking the law into one’s own hands is usually just as severe as any other illegal act. The state is almost certain to prosecute the vigilante, but there can be a number of mitigating factors based on the circumstance of the situation.
Example: If you kill the man who murdered your child, the jury or even the judge might be more sympathetic resulting in a lesser sentence. Also public outcry might push a prosecutor into agreeing to plea bargain rather than have a trial which will also result in a lesser sentence.
Seeking Legal Help
If you are in a situation where you have retaliated and taken the law into your own hands, it is best to get into touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
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Last Modified: 06-08-2015 08:28 AM PDT
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