vigilante

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vigilante

n. someone who takes the law into his/her own hands by trying and/or punishing another person without any legal authority. In the 1800s groups of vigilantes dispensed "frontier justice" by holding trials of accused horse-thieves, rustlers and shooters, and then promptly hanging the accused if "convicted." A mother who shoots the alleged molester of her child is a vigilante.

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References in periodicals archive ?
HHH (Sky Cinema Action, 8pm) If you have a problem and there is nowhere else to turn, the mysterious and elusive Robert McCall will deliver the vigilante justice you seek.
'I must, however, caution that the pursuit of the corrupt will be undertaken strictly within the remits of the law -and not through vigilante justice and pitchfork protest,' Uhuru stated
The 66-year-old caused an outcry in February while promoting his vigilante justice movie Cold Pursuit when he recalled an incident in which a female friend told him she had been raped by a black man.
This war will be conducted strictly within the remits of the law, "not through vigilante justice and pitchfork protest".
If some brave souls dare do so, they may be hauled up for having committed blasphemy of another kind, even becoming a victim of locally grown vigilante justice.
Elsewhere, Abbie falls deeper into Vincent's world, bringing Sam with her, while Sean's vigilante justice leads him down a dangerous path.
The Irish actor caused an outcry in February while promoting his vigilante justice movie "Cold Pursuit" when he recalled an incident in which a female friend told him she had been raped by a man who was black.
These acts trickle down and encourage average citizens to mete out vigilante justice and harass Kashmiri Muslims in India, where harrowing accounts are emerging of people living in fear.
It just so happened that he is also the son of a narco-politician, so in their minds, they justify this as vigilante justice. They extort money from the parents.
The Zhongshan Alliance is looking for you." After apparently being insulted by having their name associated with the reckless driver, members of the gang want to exact their own brand of vigilante justice.
State and local officials appealed for calm as thousands of people took to the streets and Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said Germany would not tolerate "vigilante justice".
Even if we take the apology at face value, vigilante justice has been the cause of many problems and should be taken action against.