Fugitives from Justice



The term "fugitive from justice" is defined broadly and covers a multiplicity of experiences under U.S. law, but refers most often to "a person who is fleeing from custody, whether it be from jail, a government arrest, government or non-government questioning, vigilante violence, or outraged private individuals" (Wikipedia). Slightly different than the above definition, a fugitive from justice may also be defined as "a person formally charged with a crime or a convicted criminal whose punishment has not yet been determined or fully served who is currently beyond the custody or control" of the party, be it local, national, or international, interested in their arrest (Wikipedia). In the nineteenth-century United States, fugitive status varied widely based on race. Many white people considered "fugitives from justice" were most often the latter definition, being those charged with or convicted of crimes who then fled across other state lines to try and evade punishment or trial. However, throughout American history up to Emancipation, fugitive status was given to escaped enslaved African Americans under the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 and later 1850. These laws also required anyone in the nation to apprehend self-emancipated enslaved people and return them to their owners. The term "fugitives from justice" therefore became another legal mechanism by which enslavers sought to control the movements and freedoms of the enslaved, while contributing heavily to the increasing sectionalism that would lead to the American Civil War (Britannica). To learn more about enslaved people who emancipations themselves and were labeled fugitives, see the "Emancipation and self-emancipation" subject tag under Events.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugitive

Related Subjects

Related subjects

The graph displays the other subjects mentioned on the same pages as the subject "Fugitives from Justice". If the same subject occurs on a page with "Fugitives from Justice" more than once, it appears closer to "Fugitives from Justice" on the graph, and is colored in a darker shade. The closer a subject is to the center, the more "related" the subjects are.