Time: Fri Aug 29 06:14:03 1997
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Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 05:54:06 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Early Common Law (fwd)

>                       Enforcement of Early Common Law
>When someone first learns of early common law his reaction may be, how was 
>this law enforced?  If early common law had no connection with government, 
>then the judge could not use police, military, or prisons to enforce 
>decisions.  Could a criminal simply walk away?
>The short answer is yes.  The longer answer, yes but ...
>Suppose someone harmed another person.  The judge would instruct the 
>perpetrator to make restitution to the victim.  If the perpetrator refused, 
>the judge could then use a procedure called outlawry.
>Under outlawry the judge was saying to the perpetrator, we will not force the
>law onto you.  You have decided to be outside the law, so be it.  And, since 
>you do not accept the responsibilities of the law, neither shall you enjoy 
>its protections.  Henceforth your legal status shall be no different than 
>that of a rabbit, squirrel, or any other wild animal outside the law.
>The description of this person who had decided to be an outlaw would be 
>publicized.  Then anyone -- anyone -- could hunt him down and enslave him, 
>kill him or, perhaps cook and eat him like a rabbit or a squirrel.  It was 
>none of the court's business, the outlaw had made his choice.
>It is difficult to believe there were many cases in which judges found it 
>necessary to use outlawry.
>[Reprinted from `Freedom League Newsletter', Apr/May 1987]

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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