Sunday, 21 March 2010

Code of the West

Just for research purposes I thought I would look into what is known as the code of the west. A new code of behavior was becoming acceptable in the West. People no longer had a duty to retreat when threatened. This was a departure from British common law that said you must have your back to the wall before you could protect yourself with deadly force. In 1876 an Ohio court held if attacked you were not “obligated to fly”. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the legality of ‘no duty to retreat”. The code of the West dictated that a man did not have to back away from a fight. He could also pursue an adversary even if it resulted in death. He needed to retreat no further than “the air at his back”.

This probably led to alot of show down style gun fights and consequently possible deaths yet in this era, it was seen as justice. An eye for an eye was something that was literally followed to the letter yet this was society for the people of this era and it was seen as a norm.

Not quite an exact re-enactment of the code of the west but hilarious nonetheless.

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