October 7, 2011
What Was the Legal Status of "Wanted - Dead or Alive" in the Wild West Days? (Assuming those posters weren't a creation of Hollywood)
- First, to what extent was this actually a historical practice [in 19th century frontier days], or is it really just a creation of Hollywood westerns– any scholarship on this, or actual examples?
- Second, from the standpoint of the law in force in that period, on what basis was this kind of “dead or alive” language used?
- Third, what was the relevant Constitutional doctrine of that day and did it have a role to play? Why or why not?
See also the comments to his post on The Volokh Conspiracy.
What a great ALR assignment! Certainly could take law school students beyond WEXIS to perform research. [JH]