Sanctuary & Early Justice
An offender being pursued by a posse often seeks protection from family and friends. This can lead to feuds, as some people side with the offender and others with
the posse. The criminal who doesn't have such a refuge can flee to a church, an ancient custom known as sanctuary. Since the time of Constantine, the Christian
Church has followed the custom of placing an offender in seclusion to provide an atmosphere conducive to penitence. This isn't a perfect solution. A posse can
simply surround the church and wait, preventing food and water from getting in. Offenders are presumed guilty, and trials are infrequent. Public torture and execution
are typical methods for meting out justice to a captured helps to quench the public's need for retribution and provides a bonding experience for the community.