01-27-2010, 06:55 PM #1
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Historical Use of Outlaw Status in American Law
Jurisdiction / State: North Carolina
If this question is listed in the wrong forum, I apologize. This is my first visit to the forum. If someone will point in the right direction, I will correct my post.
Sometime back in the 1950s or early 60s, I recall that a convicted felon who had escaped and then committed several break-ins and assaults was declared an outlaw removing most civil protections from his legal status and making it licit to shoot and kill him in the process of removing his person as a threat to the peace and liberties of law abiding citizens. As I recall (and my memory of this is hazy), there was a legal process that culminated in the Governor of the State of North Carolina declaring the individual an "outlaw". This was beyond the usual steps of issuing warrants for arrest and sending peace officers to apprehend the individual. POs were unsuccessful and the break-ins and assaults continued and might have included theft and use of firearms. Memory is uncertain. This occurred in Wake County, North Carolina.
The details of this incidence are not important except as an example of the issue of outlawry in jurisprudence as practiced in American jurisdictions. I cite the case that I have faint recollection of in NC, but I am interested in knowing if this was something done in any American jurisdictions historically. I would like to know the legal steps that were followed to declare an "outlaw" and what basis the steps had in legal precedent or codified law. I would also like to know if the any legal basis persists today and what, if any, cases have been heard on appeal with regard to the legality of the practice.
My interest in knowing more about the process is to be able to write a work of fiction wherein such actions might be taken.
Thanks in advance.
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