Vigilantism and Society


Epic Gamer
This question comes in two parts; I expect reasoning with your answers. My own will follow later.

Is vigilantism such a crime against society?

What would you do if you discovered a vigilante in your area?


Registered Member
There's too many different types. For instance, if a vigilante killed someone for stealing, that would be really bad. But if he just apprehended criminals, I'm not even sure if it IS illegal.


Certified Shitlord
Vigilantism is not a crime against society, it's a crime against law enforcement essentially. Although it's more of an insult since it's basically saying to your local law "I can do a better job so I'm going to do it myself."

If a vigilante was in my area, what would I do? I don't know, there's not much I would do. If I started hunting him/her down I'd be doing the same thing as them.


Epic Gamer
It's illegal to take the law into your own hands if you do so in such a way that breaks those laws - what I mean by this is killing, breaking and entering, destruction of property, disturbing the peace, etc. Vigilantes are theoretically legal because they can claim citizen's arrest. However, if you beat someone up - be it a thug or a drug dealer, or anyone - to perform a citizens arrest, you can be liable under assault (etc). A citizens arrest usually only counts if the criminal is wanted or has just committed the crime, since it's not an arrest so much as holding the guy in one spot until the police arrive.

Allow me to refine the term of vigilante with some scenarios:

1 - the vigilante in question is beating criminals and antisocial figures (thugs, drug pushers, hoodlums, etc) to a pulp, tying them to a sign post, anonymously calling the cops and making a run for it.

2 - the vigilante kills serious criminals; these people are the ones who commit the more serious crimes (murder, rape, child molestation, etc) and sometimes get away with them.

Same questions from the OP but applied to these new scenarios.


Do What Thou Wilt
Vigilanties (like Batman) are clear violators of the US Constitution. Undue process, assault, unlawful search and seizure, the list goes on. The only good vigilante would have to have an unadulterated knowledge of the Constitution. However, beating a thug to a pulp may be better than spending a few years in jail with other thugs..... Its really debatable and has no clear lines to be set.