Recent Vigilante Justice Cases

By Matt Simonsen*

In a 2010 case, a California man, in an allegedly intoxicated rage, shot and killed a man who sexually abused him as a child. Hundreds of supporters advocated leniency in his case, claiming he did not pose a legitimate threat to society. In addition, more than 10 men came forward about being sexually abused by the same man. While the community supported a lighter sentence, the judge was not so lenient, sentencing the California man to nine years in prison.

In a 2013 case, a Boston man pled guilty to stabbing his alleged abuser to death when he was 17. The Boston man found photos of his young nephew in the alleged abuser’s apartment and feared that the alleged abuser would also abuse the nephew. The Boston man forced the alleged abuser to confess on camera, then killed him and burned down his house. Despite the brutal nature of the stabbing, many supporters believed the Boston man should not be sentenced. The judge, however, sentenced the Boston man to 15 years in prison followed by 15 years of probation.

In a 2010 case, a small group murdered an alleged child molester, in San Antonio, Texas. The man allegedly molested a seven year old girl who was related to one of the vigilantes. Due to the brutality of the killing, the group did not receive the same level of support as the previously mentioned offenders. One member is awaiting sentencing, two are awaiting trial, and the last member of the group has yet to be arrested. Two members of the group had criminal backgrounds, one having been previously charged with sexual assault of a child.

In a 2007 case, two men allegedly set fire to an alleged child pornographer’s house. The alleged child pornographer survived, but his wife was killed. The alleged child pornographer ended up living in a homeless shelter as a result of the fire. The two men claimed that they did not intend for anyone to die; they simply wanted to scare the alleged child molester out of the neighborhood. The Scott County District Attorney pursued life without parole for both defendants.

What do you think about these cases? Be sure to share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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