Prosecute Those Who Made Threats

Vigilantism too often is not justice. Although calls for more vigorous law enforcement activity regarding what came to be called “the Steubenville rape case” were strident and perhaps counterproductive, they were just that: demands that the justice system act. It did, convicting two boys of raping a girl last August.

But it appears a few people may have crossed the line between demanding justice and taking it into their own hands. That is unacceptable.

Some witnesses in the rape trial have reported being intimidated. And on Sunday, Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Jane Hanlin said she and her family left town during the proceeding because of threats against them.

Hanlin added the threats are being investigated.

Anyone threatened in regard to the rape case – for any reason – should let law enforcement agencies know what happened. That includes the two convicted boys and their families.

Justice – as legislators who enacted laws against rape and the judge who administered them were empowered by the people of Ohio to decide – has been done in the case. Anyone making threats because of a perception justice was not thorough enough or was done too harshly is, in effect, disobeying the will of the people.

Again, vigilantism is wrong and illegal. Anyone engaging in it should be prosecuted.