The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Here's the structure:
Look, normal legal behavior sometimes just doesn't work to achieve Justice.
We've tried and it hasn't done the job.
[Pick your preference:]
- The public / government / power elites / etc. won't listen to us until we riot.
- The criminals won't be deterred unless they know they're facing some street justice from the police (a beating, an arrest even if it's not legally justified, etc.).
We're just doing what needs to be done.
If you're too squeamish, don't interfere with the people who have the guts to do it.
I'm not advocating either, of course; they are bad means that on balance generally lead to bad ends. And each understandably generates serious blowback: The rioters make lots of people appreciate more the need for police presence; the police abuse makes lots of people appreciate more the need for constraining the police. But I thought I'd note the structural similarity.