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This article contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. 1919 film, The Shepherd of the Hills. Vigilante justice” is often rationalized by the concept that proper legal forms of criminal punishment are either nonexistent, insufficient, or inefficient. Persons alleged to be escaping the law or above the law are sometimes the victims of vigilantism. Vigilante conduct involves varied degrees of violence.
In a number of cases, vigilantism has involved targets with mistaken identities. In Britain in the early 2000s, there were reports of vandalism, assaults, and verbal abuse towards people wrongly accused of being pedophiles, following the murder of Sarah Payne. In Guyana in 2008, Hardel Haynes was beaten to death by a mob who mistook him for a thief. In South Africa, from the period 2002 to the present, there has been an increase in vigilantism against the mining sector in response to perceived failures in the mitigation of acid mine drainage in the Witwatersrand Goldfields and Mpumalanga Coalfields. Vigilantism and the vigilante ethos existed long before the word vigilante was introduced into the English language. Absalom kills Amnon after King David, their father, fails to punish Amnon for raping Tamar, their sister. Formally-defined vigilantism arose in the early American colonies.
In India, vigilante refers to when a group metes out extralegal punishment to alleged lawbreakers. Vigilantism is also referred to as “mob justice”. The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. As boom-towns, or mining towns in California because of the Gold Rush, started appearing towards the 1850s, vigilantes started taking justice into their own hands because these towns did not have any established forms of government. These people would assault accused thieves, rapists and murderers. When they assaulted these thieves, they would steal their gold and give it to the accuser.
Other than reports and newspapers, there are not many records of vigilantes. Later in the United States, vigilante groups arose in poorly governed frontier areas where criminals preyed upon the citizenry with impunity. The death of Joseph Smith, Jr. June 27, 1844, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. Los Angeles and the bordering counties experienced outbursts of vigilantism from the early 1850s as many of the criminals driven out of San Francisco and the Gold Country expanded into the less-populated “Cow Counties” of Southern California, making the city and nearby countryside a dangerous place for many years. In 1856 the San Francisco Vigilance Movement remobilized, but unlike the earlier Committee, and the vigilante tradition generally, the 1856 Committee was concerned with not only civil crimes but also politics and political corruption.