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All Faculty Scholarship

2016

Rule of Law

Extremists

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How Being Right Can Risk Wrongs, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2016

How Being Right Can Risk Wrongs, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

All Faculty Scholarship

This is a chapter from the new book The Vigilante Echo. Previous chapters have made clear that some vigilantism can be morally justified where the government has failed in its promise under the social contract to protect and to do justice. But this chapter explains how even moral vigilante action can be problematic for the larger society. Vigilantes may try to do the right thing but are likely to lack the training and professional neutrality of police. They may be successful, but only on pushing the crime problem to an adjacent neighborhood. Because their open lawbreaking may seem admirable …