Word-built world: Jedburgh justice

PRONUNCIATION: (JED-buh-ruh juhs-tis) 

MEANING: noun: Punishment before trial.

ETYMOLOGY: After Jedburgh, a town in Scotland, where in the 17th century people were summarily executed. The town lies on the Jed Water river. Earliest documented use: 1698.

NOTES: Jedburgh justice, also known as Jedwood justice or Jeddart justice, is, in essence: Hang now, ask questions later. The term is coined after Jedburgh, a town near Edinburgh, where under the orders of King James VI of England, people were executed without trial. See also: lynch.

USAGE: “A Black defendant is presumed guilty and he or she has a legal duty to prove his or her innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt. There are still no guarantees, however. This is Jedburgh justice.”
Alton H Maddox, Jr.; FDR’s “Raw Deal and Blacks”; New York Amsterdam News; Jun 14, 2007.

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