Stalkers, Zealots and Sentries (1)

Imagine a woman who, with the help of some friends, escaped from her abusive husband a few years ago: they moved her out while he was watching the game at the bar. She moved across the country and has been living under a fake name. There is a restraining order out against him.

Her mother dies; she wants to come back for the funeral. She tells her friends, who not only tell the husband she’ll be there (and thus that he’d violate the order if he showed up), but come to the funeral packing the guns they are legally permitted to carry. Husband shows up anyway, friends give him fair warning, he pulls his own gun, they drop him.

Now, imagine you’re the homicide cops. There’s no way this isn’t justifiable homicide: the guy was warned. But then you find out that the woman and her friends organized all this. You’re appalled, because the thing the justice system hates the most is vigilante justice, for a host of reasons, some of which are even legit. But what are you going to arrest them for? All the guy had to do was not show up.

What you ask them is why didn’t they call the cops beforehand, get a patrol car to come off, make the guy think twice. And the friend’s answer is that if the guy were scared off, he’d keep coming back, and why should the wife have to live across the country under a fake name or else have a very real risk of being murdered? Why should she never be able to see her mom or nephew? And you don’t have a real good answer for that, because it’s a hole in the justice system.

Now imagine everyone’s surprise when the wife says she’s been lying all along and that her mother isn’t really dead.

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  1. Stalkers, Zealots and Sentries (3) | Julian Cage
  2. Stalkers, Zealots and Sentries (5) | Julian Cage

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