Everyone is informed about criminal activity through the media. Even in fiction, crime pervades the drama in movies, television, and books. In this way, crime is a normal part of life. No one can pick up a newspaper or tune their television to the news without hearing about crime. However, acts of vigilantism capture headlines of the media and the imagination of the ordinary man.

We are often told 'no man can be judge, jury, and executioner' and while most people are not, we have an invested interest in those who do. Last year after spotting a couple of thieves robbing his neighbor, Joe Horn of Texas shot and killed the two men. Earlier in this month of July, a grand jury cleared Joe Horn of all criminal charges. The decision made headlines across all media outlets. Joe was celebrated by many as a legal representation hero. But the truth of the matter is that he executed the thieves of his own volition.

Why is this man being heralded as a hero for the killing of men? Perhaps a look into another venue of our culture dui lawyer cost can give us the answer: the cinema. With the success of comic-book heroes on film we get a sense of what the public mentality wants to see. Characters such as Batman and Spiderman are household names in the movie theaters. They draw in millions of dollars from consumers who want to see vigilante justice. There is no denying that these 'superheroes' disregard the laws of the land and instead form their own laws, methods, and punishments - at times, overlapping with public jurisprudence, but certainly not always.

In another recent case, a man arrested for running over and killing a police officer. The police, in a fury, combed the land for the murderer until a suspect was apprehended within hours. Two days after his arrest, the suspect was found dead in his cell. The accused, Ronnie White, was being held in solitary confinement; this means that a prison guard or official would have had to help the vigilante get access to White's cell where he was strangled to death. The national media sensation revolved around the vigilante justice while the murder of the police officer did not dent the headlines anywhere but locally.

So why is vigilantism so popular in our cultural forms? This fascination with the heroic vigilante lends credibility to a public rationalization for renegade justice - at least, vicariously. Most people, at one time or another, have vengeful thoughts; but there is a strong line between thinking and acting by becoming the vigilante and enacting vengeance. In a way, people satisfy their vigilante desires by the vicarious experience they attain through the media and cinema. These outlets offer fulfillment while allowing the common man avoid deviant behavior.

But is the subconscious vigilante-desire harmless? While treating patients under the clinical proven method that thoughts beget behaviors, New York psychotherapist would give a thorough warning: while nine out of ten people may have their thirst for taking the law into their own hands quenched with the Batman's and Joe Horn's, there is the one will believe these icons are their excuse for becoming 'judge, jury, and executioner'.

By: Tony Ervin

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www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/07/01/custody.death/index.html

www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1820028,00.html

www.cognitive-therapy-associates.com/therapy/cognitive/



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