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The Power of the Glave
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I recently watched the NatGeo documentary "After Armageddon". I was especially interested where they talk about how isolated communities after a SHTF might re-establish justice and rule of law. In the documentary, the town sheriff basically set himself up as "judge, jury, and executioner".

So supposing there is a true EOTWAWKI situation, and there isn't any more government. Isolated communities of survivors have set themselves up and gotten organized. Who has the authority to punish wrongdoers? Offenses might range all the way from simple theft, to rape and murder. How would situations like this be handled?
 

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Cave canem
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Corporal or capital punishment will be the preferred methods of punishment, indentured servitude may be used in some areas.

Prisons/jails will be used to house those waiting for trial and NOT used as a form of punishment. No one will have the time, energy or desire to babysit prisoners while they serve out their sentence.

Families will also be expected to police their own. If a family turns out thuggish offspring the whole group could and would be run out of town (or worse).
 

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I think it will start with who controls and area and how they came into power. If an area is ruled by a local who grabbed control and rules like a feudal lord he will surely handle justice differently than if a community has come together and chosen a leader and they are trying to live according to our constitution. I also agree that trying to put someone in jail as a punishment will be a waste of time and energy. Work details, public whippings, public shaming such as stocks were all used throughout history for a reason. I am not advocating for them I just recognize that they were used and to some degree were effective as a deterrent.
 

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Who has the authority to punish wrongdoers?
"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun" - Mao Zedong
"For us... Rule. For you... Wailing." - ancient Sunni Iraqi proverb

Just versions of the classic aphorism "Might Makes Right".

A secondary consideration is whether the old legal system is likely to reclaim its mantle of authority and retroactively penalize any home grown versions. You might conduct a "legal" hanging of some deserving criminal at local level... then find yourself charged with murder after the EOTWAWKI dust settles. Those incarcerated, banished, or executed might have had connections that come back to haunt everyone else. Or the next political rung up the food chain might want to set an example by crushing your local legal authority.

Or not. If the destruction of previous civilization is intense enough, the old power structures might cease to exist for all practical purposes.

Any person or collective body that sets themselves up as local governance inherits the heavy burden of enforcing law and order. This means applying justice (reward and punishment) in an equitable manner acceptable to the remaining populace. Or simply ruling with an iron fist.

Those who wield power, authority, and superior force of arms (whether by seizing them or by popular acclaim) will be the ones to enforce justice. As they always have. No different than today. Same circus, different clowns.
 
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I agree with all of the above. The existing law and order system should be preserved as much as possible. But, if the community is too isolated for it to work then alternatives that the majority support should be adopted.
 

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For instance if transportation is too difficult for the sheriff to aid a community then they should rely on a local deputy IF HE WILL DO IT. The next best choice should be tried until someone is found that the community accepts and is willing to serve.
 

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Remove Kebab
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Force is the ultimate rule. Those with the swiftest application of the greatest force will end up ruling. Many communities will be different. Some will try to be forgiving while others will immediately administer harsh punishments.

Communities will also be much smaller and many very collective. All will adapt to hardships and governing challenges in different ways. I expect to see a wide variety of governing styles but nothing we haven't seen before.
 

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I keep reposting because my confuser lost a longer post.

I think LE and trial and punishment should be kept separate. A local man that the community recognizes as wise and fair would probably make a fine judge in troubled times. WHO SAYS A MAN HAS TO HAVE A LAW DEGREE TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS. A farmer with common sense could well make far better decisions than some of the idiots in the current broken justice system.
 

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Cave canem
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Another thing that would change would be the sheriff's position within the community. I like to read historical true crime and things were very different in small communities 100+ years ago (especially in the south).

People didn't have television or radio for entertainment, gossip was king. Everyone had an opinion and traded rumors even regarding small crimes. Towns people usually tracked down and apprehended suspects. A serious crime involving murder or rape would enrage the entire community.

The sheriff's main job was holding the accused for trial. In cases of high profile murder or rape the sheriff had to guard the prisoner/jail 24/7 for fear of lynching. Very often they had to try and sneak prisoners out of town in the middle of the night to prevent vigilante justice.

Unlike the old westerns where the town sheriff held all of the power, in smaller communities the sheriff's main job was to ensure the accused made it to trial in one piece.
 

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...So supposing there is a true EOTWAWKI situation, and there isn't any more government. Isolated communities of survivors have set themselves up and gotten organized. Who has the authority to punish wrongdoers? Offenses might range all the way from simple theft, to rape and murder. How would situations like this be handled?
The same way it is now. People agree to a set of rules. If you don't agree with everyone else, and they want to use force to make you agree, you either take it or put up a fight.

That's how it works when there are 2 people, or 2 billion, the number doesn't matter. It only seems different now because the pool of people who agree to X set of rules is so large that you can only imagine them, not see them crowded around you shouting.
 

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If we look at history, of the Western world at least, upon the decline and eventual fall of Rome, came a mostly feudal system, in a period called the Dark Ages. Sure there were centralized powers, such as kings and "emperors" after Rome, but not until year 800, Charlemagne's coronation (almost 400 years after the fall of Rome) was there a concerted effort beginning to bring uniform reach of rule across Western Europe by the papacy and the German Emperor. So for almost half a millennium, local barons, counts, and dukes established fiefdoms with their own rules and ways. I don't see why a global collapse in our times would be any different, should the grid come down.
 

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Cave canem
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So for almost half a millennium, local barons, counts, and dukes established fiefdoms with their own rules and ways. I don't see why a global collapse in our times would be any different, should the grid come down.
That is true but I believe the fiefdom system was started up by well established rich/powerful land owners as a way to preserve law and order while protecting their territories. Basically the "billionaires" of the day deciding that they would hire their own private armies and run their own private kingdoms as the government fell into ruins. As an added benefit Rome disintegrated slowly, it didn't disappear all at once.

In a post apocalyptic America I don't think it would work out the same way. Today the ultra rich don't control large chunks of land, their property/assets/employees are scattered all over the world. It would more than likely be chaos that simmered down to a pioneer type mentality.
 

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What would Mal do
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having not seen the Nat Geo show, I'd be less than fair to pass judgement on it's content...but I would suggest that oft times folks equate ROL with justice...

I'm observing the two do not always go hand in hand....

in fact, our own nation, as developed, matured, complex, and well funded as it is...continues to see riots, violence, protests of all kinds in the name of social justice and who thinks they know the definition.

our court systems and our govt officials frequently stand on laws while dishing out less than just decisions, fines, penalties.

no...after the big (fill in the blank) event we will have individuals forced to meet out their own justice, small groups, small communities, larger leftover towns/cities struggling to reform..all rebuilding upon at least the fundamental concepts of justice...don't steal, don't hurt others, do something of value to earn your keep...kinda thinkin there was this guy with a stone tablet a few years back...but I'm wondering how many Americans today could even tell you what all 10 of those are...since we no longer apparently need them in our schools, our city halls, our courts.
 

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The "justice" will NEVER be reestablished. And for a very simple, obvious reason: no communities. The whole purpose of this (and other, similar threads) is to prevent the survival of independent people, making them worry about being prosecuted for their defensive actions. They should not worry: once WROL is commenced country-wide, there is no going back. But lets go back to justice/community thing. The extensive violence should be expected to last 2-3 years. 99% of the population would die. No ifs or buts, just a simple math. So the population density (at that time) would be about one household per one hundred square miles. The size of the household will not be much greater than 2 people. The average age of about 65 years. Under those condition no community is possible (or desirable). Nobody would even travel anywhere (not even to his closest neighbor) because it would be considered too dangerous and time consuming, all without any benefit.
But wait, there is more: 70-80 year old people can't work the land. No chance at all. And even aside of that their health would be deteriorating quickly. The end result is a further die-off. Ten years after the Fall, 90% of survivors of the first 2-3 years would be gone. So, the population density would drop to one household per 1000 square miles. With absolutely no communication between people. So, realistically, it might take a thousand years before ANY kind of community is established.
 

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I would think once T****F punishments would be much more severe for things that you would get a slap on the wrist for now. Stealing any food item from a store now might get you a small fine. Doing it after a disaster would most likely get you killed. The things that have value now might be worthless (electronics, cars) Whereas relatively inexpensive things now would be priceless (shovels, pick axes, canned foods). Capitol punishment would most likely be very common. You wont really have the resources to jail someone. Locking someone in a cage and having to provide them with food/water while they are not contributing to your community just doesnt seem likely once a global disaster hits.
 

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All we need is That Book. Happened before it will happen again.

Taken from the movie The Book of Eli . The bad guy said that in regards to getting a Bible. I got warned for posting the video as it had swearing in it. But it is available on you tube.

There is always the chance that Religion would be used for unification of certain tribes, races or groups.
 
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