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Shadow Vigilantes by Paul H. Robinson and Sarah M. Robinson

Shadow Vigilantes

Shadow Vigilantes by Paul H. Robinson and Sarah M. Robinson
Mar 20, 2018 | 344 Pages
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    Mar 20, 2018 | 344 Pages

  • Ebook $11.99

    Mar 20, 2018 | 344 Pages

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“Using superbly evocative case studies, Shadow Vigilantes is a strikingly original catalog and analysis of vigilante behavior by ordinary citizens and criminal justice officials that occurs when the law fails to deliver its promises of protection and justice. This book will change your view about criminal justice and how to improve it.”
—Stephen J. Morse, Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law, and professor of psychology and law in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania

“The police leave a community unprotected. The rules let a guilty defendant walk free. A judge lets a convicted offender off with a slap on the wrist. These injustices don’t go unnoticed. Sometimes, in response, citizens become classic vigilantes, acting outside the criminal justice system, taking the law into their own hands. More often, they become shadow vigilantes, flouting the system’s rules in an attempt to achieve justice from within. Alas, the vigilante impulse to do retail justice usually ends up producing wholesale injustice. Paul H. Robinson and Sarah M. Robinson offer a unique and amazing collection of compelling real-life stories. The lesson is simple but profound. The criminal justice system’s first order of business should be to do justice and secure its moral credibility. This is a riveting read.”
—Stephen P. Garvey, professor of law, Cornell Law School

“Until I read this stimulating book on shadow vigilantes, I had not given the subject much thought. Now, I can stop pondering the idea that such a distorted system might be called for when traditional law enforcement breaks down and the criminal justice system crumbles (Venezuela, some parts of Mexico, Zimbabwe, etc.). [The authors] point out that there has been a long line of vigilante groups that could fairly claim their conduct to be morally justified, albeit technically illegal. Yet, while the public might be tempted to grab the pitchforks and torches, the authors say this would only lead to more lawlessness. Clearly written with challenging precepts and thought-provoking ideas, this book makes you consider the following: if the vigilante is successful in staying within the bounds of moral justification, why is apprehending ‘bad guys’ a practice predictably ending in a downward spiral of criminality?”
—Robert H. Jordan, retired anchor/reporter, WGN-TV, Chicago, and author of Murder in the News: An Inside Look at How Television Covers Crime

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