Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

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CroakandDagger
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Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#1 Post by CroakandDagger » Mon May 28, 2018 10:05 pm

As the title says: Under what circumstances would you personally feel justified committing vigilantism, and to what lengths would you go?

If you knew someone was a rapist, murderer and/or paedophile and they got away with it on a technicality (or were simply not punished by those entrusted with maintaining the Rule of Law in your country) do you think you could ever take the law into your own hands?

Why? Why not?
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Incrementalist
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Re: Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#2 Post by Incrementalist » Mon May 28, 2018 11:57 pm

Personally, I have no idea.

But I wonder to what extent the average person could even be competent as a vigilante. After 10,000 years of civilization, it may be the case that humanity has domesticated itself to such an extent that the capacity for personal justice is somewhat diminished, relative to prehistoric times.
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CroakandDagger
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Re: Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#3 Post by CroakandDagger » Tue May 29, 2018 9:56 am

You can make the sheeple argument, certainly.

Are there no circumstances in which you could see yourself pursuing personal justice?
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Octavious
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Re: Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#4 Post by Octavious » Tue May 29, 2018 10:51 am

You mean finding out that one of your oranges is damaged, so the next time you buy half a dozen loose ones you only enter 5 on the self service till?

Or the change you're given in the pub contains, after later inspection, a fake £1 coin, so you make sure that fake coin is spent back in that pub?

That sort of thing?
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CroakandDagger
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Re: Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#5 Post by CroakandDagger » Tue May 29, 2018 2:07 pm

Sure.

Octavious
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Re: Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#6 Post by Octavious » Tue May 29, 2018 2:56 pm

I'm fortunate enough that the ethical code I like to live by and the law tends to tally pretty well. What happens when they diverge has never been tested on anything other than trivial matters, however in those trivial cases my instincts have favoured what I believe to be right rather than the letter of the law. I imagine that in more serious cases it would be a similar situation, with the decision of what to do dependent upon a calculation of the probability and consequence of being caught weighed against my belief that action should be taken, rather than a belief the law should always be obeyed on principle.

In all seriousness, though, the law is pretty good and unless we get invaded by the Russians or something I can't imagine a serious situation where myself and the law would be in fundamental disagreement.

Randomizer
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Re: Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#7 Post by Randomizer » Tue May 29, 2018 5:02 pm

I have thought about it because the criminals involved were members of the Rule of Law and it was widely known that they were doing it. However I feared for my life and my family's in pursuing the matter when I knew I would likely face no support and could easily die without changing the situation.

Years later one was caught and even with definite evidence of criminal activity she only got a slap on the wrist. So much for the justice system.

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Re: Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#8 Post by peterlund » Tue May 29, 2018 7:51 pm

Ignore this since croak who I ignore started it.
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ksako8
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Re: Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#9 Post by ksako8 » Tue May 29, 2018 9:28 pm

I think it is never justified. That does not mean that in an extreme circumstance I may or may not result to vigilante behaviour. In case I do, I will then pay the price, since it is never justified.

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Re: Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#10 Post by MajorMitchell » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:34 pm

After reading the posts I then consulted a Dictionary to check the meaning of the word "vigilante" & it's defined as: a member of a self appointed group undertaking law enforcement but without legal authority.
Collective social agreement to live under the Rule of Law ( albeit imperfect ) is the basis of Civil Society.
I see no circumstances in a Civil Society where Rule of Law functions ( again, albeit imperfectly ) in which vigilantes should be tolerated.

To the question of seeking redress for a perceived Injustice, injury, tresspass or insult. I would argue that redress can only be sought in lawful ways. ( & since vigilantes have no legal authority, this is not a valid option )

One of the trends in Judicial systems and Law that concerns me is the trend to "make it easier to get convictions" in jurisdictions that inherited from the "British system of Justice & Law" the principles of presumption of innocence, trials by jury that are open to the public, habeus corpus etc.
It's a dificult thing, getting the balance between prosecution and defense right with things like what is the burden of proof required to secure a conviction, what standards of evidence are set etc.
If you have a system in which it's ridiculously easy to get convictions, then inevitably, innocent persons will be wrongfully convicted. Combine that with Capital Punishment and innocent persons will be executed.

If you have a system where it's impossibly dificult to get convictions then criminality will be rife and destroy the society.

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Re: Vigilantism: Under what circumstances is it justified?

#11 Post by MajorMitchell » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:43 pm

As I sometimes say to people who buy into the "Git tough on Law 'n Order" propaganda of populist politicians and demagogues.. Please don't corrupt our judicial system that values principles such as presumption of innocence etc.. Just emigrate to North Korea, China or Iran. They have judicial systems in which accused persons are axiomatically guilty. Have those systems eradicated the incidence of pedophilia ? I think not. In fact often under those systems, members of the elite can commit terrible crimes with impunity.

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