Lynch Court - the grimaces of American democracy
Principles of popular "justice"
The Lynch Court is a quick and not always fair massacre of a street crowd over people suspected of a crime or of violating social norms or customs. Lynching never required any investigative actions or evidence. The Lynch Court differs from the legal proceedings in that the fate of a person or several people is decided not on legal basis, but on the whim and will of the feelings of the crowd. And the dominant feeling of the street crowd at all times was hatred. Consequently, the punishments of people who had the imprudence to fall under Lynch’s judgment were always distinguished by sophisticated incredible cruelty. By and large, lynching has nothing to do either with the court or with such a fundamental principle of jurisprudence as the presumption of innocence. In most cases, it was a bloody execution. In the history of mankind, lynches become massive and become everyday during revolutionary clashes and cataclysms, when the rabid crowd,driven by hatred alone, it often pours out on innocent people. So the civil war in the United States spawned a kind of mob, known as Lynch law.
Charles and William
The emergence of lynching as a systematic practice of American society dates back to the 1860s, when the southern states that were defeated in the civil war underwent military occupation by the northerners. The black population, declared to be completely free at the end of the war, began to avenge its former owners. Historians still have not come to a common opinion on the question of who was named after American mob rule. One of the two candidates is a judge and landowner Charles Lynch, who widely practiced the massacre of those who dared to violate the law in his understanding on the territory of his own estate. But you have to give him his due - the Lynch court in its execution did not carry any pronounced racial overtones. And his reprisals, Mr. Charles tried to attach some kind of caricature of legality.Locals gladly took on the roles of prosecutors, judges, jurors and executioners in combination.These cruel theatrical performances caused a great stir among the local population. They liked to watch the criminals were burned alive, stoned and stoned, their limbs cut off. Often the penalty turned into a real show. For example, it was common practice to coat those sentenced to hang with resin and then throw them in feathers. Another real contender for the poor role of the founder of this type of lawlessness is Captain William Lynch, who in 1780 introduced the law on corporal punishment of the guilty before the society in the territory of Pennsylvania. True, his reprisals rarely ended in death.
The wrong side of American democracy
The second half of the nineteenth century in the United States was marked by widespread ideas about the inability of current US legislation to effectively resist crime. In this historical period, lynching, perhaps, reached its climax. Began to create "committees of vigilance", which included ordinary citizens. These organizations themselves, without waiting for the legal verdicts of the official justice, handed down quick sentences to the criminals and carried out executions.According to statistics, in the period from 1889 to 1918, 3224 people were executed in this way, of which 2522 were black. At first, the Lynch courts were a reaction of free American citizens to rampant crime in the country. But a little later, lynching took on an even more perverted form and became the personification of the massacres of white Americans against the black population.