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When Government Justice Fails

Nick Miroff and William Booth report for the WaPo:

IN ASCENCION, MEXICO -- In this dusty farm town, an hour south of the U.S. border, more than 40 people were abducted - one a week - in the first nine months of the year.

Then, on Sept. 21, the kidnappings stopped.

That was the day a gang of kidnappers with AK-47s burst into Lolo's seafood restaurant and tried to abduct the 17-year-old cashier. A mob of enraged residents chased down two of the teenage attackers and lynched them in a cotton field on the edge of town.
As John Locke explained over three centuries ago, people in a state of nature have the right to carry out their own justice.  We give that up when we agree to live under a government of laws.  If that government fails in its first duty, then people must revert to self help. 

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