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



United States



  • April 1991: José Vicente Anunciação murdered a co-worker during a drunken knife-fight in Salvador, Bahia. Witnesses to the crime were not able to provide evidence in court. Anunciação 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 1,500 people stormed and set fire to the Paraná prison where Valdecir Ferreira and Altair Gomes were being held for the murder of a taxi-cab driver.[6]


  • “At 3pm on August 13 2004, Akku Yadav was lynched by a mob of around 200 women from Kasturba Nagar. It took them 15 minutes to hack to death the man they say raped them with impunity for more than a decade. Chilli powder was thrown in his face and stones hurled. As he flailed and fought, one of his alleged victims hacked off his penis with a vegetable knife. A further 70 stab wounds were left on his body. The incident was made all the more extraordinary by its setting. Yadav was murdered not in the dark alleys of the slum, but on the shiny white marble floor of Nagpur district court.”[7]

See also



  1. ^ a b Gonzales-Day, Ken (2006). Lynching in the West: 1850–1935. London: Duke University Press. ISBN 0822337940.
  2. ^ Bryant, Wilbur Franklin (1887). The Blood of Abel. Gazette-Journal Company. p. 100.
  3. ^ Mullins, Jesse (May 1994). "To Stand Your Ground". American Cowboy.
  4. ^ "Wyatt Earp's Vendetta Posse". Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  5. ^ Kingseed, Wyatt (2002). "Teddy Roosevelt's Frontier Justice". American History. 36: 22–28.
  6. ^ "Brazil's frontier justice". The Economist. April 27, 1991.
  7. ^ Prasad, Raekha (2005-09-16). "'Arrest us all': the 200 women who killed a rapist". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-11-15.