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Vigilante Justice

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OPINION
January 23, 1994
Susan Estrich's Opinion article, "Vigilante Justice" (Jan. 16), was on the money. Consider this too: The citizens who protest in favor of and condone the actions of Lorena Bobbitt, the Menendezes, Damian Williams and the woman who killed her son's molester should examine the consequences of these people's violent acts. By deifying those vigilantes in any form, people send a dangerous message to those victims who need help. It tells them that it's OK to mete out justice in your own way, regardless of the law. It's true many people are ignorant of, or afraid to use, existing legal channels to get help.
ARTICLES BY DATE
WORLD
April 12, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Outraged Canadians are demanding police action after an alleged gang rape and suicide in Nova Scotia, a tragedy that has drawn parallels to recent assault cases in Ohio and California . Seventeen-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons hanged herself last week after enduring more than a year of bullying in the aftermath of an alleged rape. In an impassioned message posted on Facebook, her mother, Leah Parsons, wrote that four boys assaulted Rehtaeh in November 2011 and spread a photo of the act online, branding the teen a “slut” and launching an avalanche of harassment from her classmates.
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WORLD
September 24, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
NAIROBI, Kenya - The voices were loud and harsh outside the thin walls of the tin shack where Musa Otieno, a boy of 12, tried to sleep in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. A stranger had wandered into the neighborhood. A mob gathered around him with machetes and knives, shouting, "Thief, thief!" The boy huddled in bed, listening to the stranger pleading. "The man was saying, 'I'm not a thief, I'm looking for someone,' but no one gave him a chance to explain. " The boy heard the man's screams as the mob beat him. He heard the sound of machetes, "like someone was cutting something.
WORLD
September 24, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
NAIROBI, Kenya - The voices were loud and harsh outside the thin walls of the tin shack where Musa Otieno, a boy of 12, tried to sleep in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. A stranger had wandered into the neighborhood. A mob gathered around him with machetes and knives, shouting, "Thief, thief!" The boy huddled in bed, listening to the stranger pleading. "The man was saying, 'I'm not a thief, I'm looking for someone,' but no one gave him a chance to explain. " The boy heard the man's screams as the mob beat him. He heard the sound of machetes, "like someone was cutting something.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2010 | By Richard Winton
Although crime is dropping in Los Angeles, there is one glaring exception: bicycle thefts, which rose 29% last year. Nearly 2,000 bikes were reported stolen last year -- and authorities believe the actual number of thefts was much higher because so many people don't report stolen bikes. Los Angeles Police Department detectives believe the increase is due in part to more people using bikes to get around in some neighborhoods. A Times analysis of LAPD data found the USC campus area, Venice, parts of Hollywood and downtown L.A. to be hot spots for bike thefts.
OPINION
January 16, 1994 | SUSAN ESTRICH, Susan Estrich, a contributing editor to Opinion, is a law professor at USC. She served as campaign manager for Michael S. Dukakis in 1988
This was the week that privates upstaged a President. While President Bill Clinton was in Europe restructuring the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, seeking agree ment from Ukraine on nuclear weapons and meeting with Boris N. Yeltsin, millions of Americans, along with CNN viewers around the world, tuned in to nonstop coverage of Lorena Bobbitt's trial for assault on her husband.
WORLD
January 4, 2011 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
They called her La Pelirroja , The Redhead. After languishing in jail on kidnapping charges for more than a year, she was abruptly sprung from custody two days after Christmas, during what may have been a bogus medical transfer. But instead of being freed, Gabriela Muniz was within days found hanging by the neck from a pedestrian overpass in Mexico's wealthiest city, Monterrey ? a brutally rare fate for a woman, even amid this nation's depraved and escalating drug violence.
NEWS
July 29, 1990
For 15 years during the middle of the 19th Century, El Monte was the only village between Los Angeles and San Bernardino. It was known for rough manners and vigilante justice. Nicknames for the town included "Hell's Half-Acre," "Lickskillet" and "Shirttail Bend."
NATIONAL
March 27, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Death threats and a $10,000 bounty offered for a citizen's arrest of George Zimmerman have raised concerns about the threat of "vigilante justice" in the racially charged case. A group identifying itself as the New Black Panther Party is offering $10,000 to anyone who makes a citizen's arrest of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin slaying. The reward, and an earlier spate of death threats, also raise questions about whether law enforcement is taking steps to protect Zimmerman and his family.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 1988
Despite the protest of one supervisor that it smacked of "vigilante" justice, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to seek state legislation that would encourage "community surveillance" of registered sex offenders. The proposal, by Supervisor Pete Schabarum, would establish a statewide reward fund for citizens who identify and report sex offenders violating probation or parole requirements that require them to register with law enforcement.
NATIONAL
March 27, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Death threats and a $10,000 bounty offered for a citizen's arrest of George Zimmerman have raised concerns about the threat of "vigilante justice" in the racially charged case. A group identifying itself as the New Black Panther Party is offering $10,000 to anyone who makes a citizen's arrest of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin slaying. The reward, and an earlier spate of death threats, also raise questions about whether law enforcement is taking steps to protect Zimmerman and his family.
WORLD
January 4, 2011 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
They called her La Pelirroja , The Redhead. After languishing in jail on kidnapping charges for more than a year, she was abruptly sprung from custody two days after Christmas, during what may have been a bogus medical transfer. But instead of being freed, Gabriela Muniz was within days found hanging by the neck from a pedestrian overpass in Mexico's wealthiest city, Monterrey ? a brutally rare fate for a woman, even amid this nation's depraved and escalating drug violence.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2010 | By Richard Winton
Although crime is dropping in Los Angeles, there is one glaring exception: bicycle thefts, which rose 29% last year. Nearly 2,000 bikes were reported stolen last year -- and authorities believe the actual number of thefts was much higher because so many people don't report stolen bikes. Los Angeles Police Department detectives believe the increase is due in part to more people using bikes to get around in some neighborhoods. A Times analysis of LAPD data found the USC campus area, Venice, parts of Hollywood and downtown L.A. to be hot spots for bike thefts.
NATIONAL
July 2, 2008 | From the Associated Press
A man arrested in the hit-and-run death of a police officer was found strangled in his cell, and investigators focused Tuesday on guards at the suburban Maryland jail. As state police took over the investigation, an attorney for inmate Ronnie L. White's family said the man's attackers "took it upon themselves to be both the judge, the jury and the executioner." White's death shocked and angered officials in Prince George's County, including County Executive Jack B. Johnson, who likened it to "vigilante justice."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 2007 | Jan Stuart, Newsday
In "Death Sentence," Kevin Bacon descends to the throne left vacant by the late Charles Bronson, that of a law-abiding worker bee turned one-man killing machine bent on avenging his family. Based on Brian Garfield's novel of the same name (itself a sequel to the book that began it all, "Death Wish"), this latest exercise in do-it-yourself justice-mongering features Bacon as Nick Hume, a risk-assessment company vice president whose No. 1 son is wantonly slaughtered in a gas station holdup.
WORLD
March 13, 2005 | Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer
Weeds have grown in the rubble of his home and dust discolors the singed wreckage, but Fetiere Louidort's hunger for justice hasn't lessened in the year since black-clad special forces opened fire on local opponents of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the final days of his presidency. The last major city between advancing rebels and the capital, St. Marc was about to fall and leave the Aristide government in Port-au-Prince unprotected when helicopters ferried in the gunmen on Feb. 11, 2004.
NATIONAL
July 2, 2008 | From the Associated Press
A man arrested in the hit-and-run death of a police officer was found strangled in his cell, and investigators focused Tuesday on guards at the suburban Maryland jail. As state police took over the investigation, an attorney for inmate Ronnie L. White's family said the man's attackers "took it upon themselves to be both the judge, the jury and the executioner." White's death shocked and angered officials in Prince George's County, including County Executive Jack B. Johnson, who likened it to "vigilante justice."
NEWS
June 29, 1990 | JAMES F. SMITH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Horacio Santos, a 42-year-old nuclear engineer, had already been robbed 13 or 14 times, his family and friends say. When it happened yet again, he cracked--and a national uproar ensued. At about 11 a.m. on June 16, Santos heard his car alarm go off while he was shopping near his home. He ran into the street to find two men stealing his car stereo. As they fled in an old Chevrolet, Santos leaped into his Renault Fuego and gave chase. A few blocks away, he overtook and halted the thieves.
NEWS
May 18, 2003 | Allen G. Breed, Associated Press Writer
From the time his son was old enough to understand, Kamau Marcharia has been telling Ramon the story of an ancestor who was tied to the bumper of a Model T Ford and dragged to his death. Lynching is part of black Southerners' heritage. But Marcharia was not prepared for the call that came three years ago when Ramon and three other black boys got into a fight with a white boy at middle school and were summoned to court -- to answer charges of lynching.
NEWS
May 30, 2002 | LAEL LOWENSTEIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Everyone has a limit," warns the tag line for "Enough," the new thriller that stars Jennifer Lopez as a battered woman who decides to get back at her abusive husband. In recent months, movies and television are offering us visions of what happens when everyday people reach that limit. A clear trend in post-Sept. 11 entertainment is that protagonists, mistrustful of incompetent bureaucracy and law enforcement agencies, opt to take justice into their own hands.
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