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Frontier justice (also called vigilante justice[1]) is extrajudicial punishment that is motivated by the nonexistence of law and order or dissatisfaction with justice.[2] The phrase can also be used to describe a prejudiced judge.[3] Lynching[2] and gunfighting are considered forms of frontier justice.[4]


United States


  • April 1991: Jose Vicente Anunciacao murdered a coworker during a drunken knife-fight in Salvador. Witnesses to the crime were not able to provide evidence in court. Anunciacao was set free and then dragged from his bed at night by a mob of forty people who beat him to death with bricks and clubs. Previously, a mob of fifteen-hundred people stormed and set fire to the Parana prison where Valdecir Ferreira and Altair Gomes were being held for the murder of a taxi-cab driver.[5]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kingseed, Wyatt. "Teddy Roosevelt's Frontier Justice." American History 36 (2002): 22-28.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gonzales-Day, Ken. Lynching in the West: 1850-1935. London: Duke University Press, 2006. [1]
  3. Bryant, Wilbur Franklin. The Blood of Abel. Gazette-Journal Company, 1887. [2]
  4. Mullins, Jesse. "To Stand Your Ground." American Cowboy, May 1994. [3]
  5. "Brazil's frontier justice." The Economist, April 27, 1991.


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