speaking of vigilantees....
An article on the situation in a small Arizona town. There are some areas here where it basically is as it was on the frontier -- nearest law enforcement officer 60 miles away, and that's if you're lucky.
As one commenter on the previous thread noted, most of the western vigilanteeism represented a response to chaos. When a person or gang was too powerful to be taken care of by legal process, they were given a warning and unless they were fools, they got out of town, because it was notice that the citizenry were prepared for organized if illegal action against them. The custom was, I recall, 24 hours' written notice. Thus the Earps received notice in Tombstone, and left.
An interesting question springs into mind. Juries are required to be drawn from the vicinage, vicinity, of the offense. This is required, I'd assume, so that jurors know local conditions. Arizona counties are generally huge -- some are larger than Eastern states. In this case, this town is about 80 miles from Phoenix. Its conditions compared to Phoenix (an urban area with about 3 million population and a large police force) are as night and day. But Phoenix is the county seat, and in a trial held there the jury will almost certainly be 100% urban dwellers. Should someone in this town act in self-defense, might there be a case for arguing that the vicinage from which jurors should be taken should be the town, and not Phoenix nor the entire county?
My own county, Pima, has done something like that for misdemeanors. The county seat is Tucson in the east, but there is a JP court and judge out in Ajo, way to the west. It didn't make sense to require people to drive 100+ miles to contest a speeding ticket or misdemeanor or try a small claims case. So in a misdemeanor jury trial there, the jury would be drawn from Ajo, rather than Tucson.
I am surprised that residents that felt the need to warn the deputy that they were going to start shooting to protect themselves. I am even more surprised they hadn't already called the SO to come pick up the bodies. After all we have a long tradition of firearms in this state and now with the castle doctrine to further back us up, they should not be having this problem (at least not after the first few perps assume room temp!)
Posted by: Chris in Phx at December 10, 2007 12:34 PM
I am looking for the arguments in support of vigilanteeism. I'm an attorney, too, and the arguments against it are clear. Do you know of any written codification of the subject? In an age of outrageous recidivism and unchecked murder and crimes against children, a reexamination of law and order is mandatory.
Posted by: Kenneth at March 16, 2008 11:13 PM