Third-world Crime and Punishment

From the monthly newsletter written by my brother and his wife:

“During Medieval times when there was a theft in a village, the people set up a “Hue and Cry”.  This meant yelling, “Thief!” at the top of one’s lungs so that the other villagers would be alerted and the thief would be caught.  The system worked so well that often the hue and cry would be heard several miles away from the scene of the actual theft.

Here in Indonesia, a third-world country, there is also a system of “Hue and Cry”.  Only, the word thief is changed to the Indonesian word for thief, “Maling”.  As we and I sat down to lunch today, we heard the local “hue and cry” of “Maling!  Maling!” and we ran outside to see who the thief was.  He was a cowardly one; that was evident by the way he yanked the necklace off my next door neighbor’s neck and continued on his way ON HIS MOTORCYCLE!

This is a frequent occurrence in this country and if/when the thief is caught, he is usually beaten by the crowd while waiting for the police to show up.  He then may or may not receive a fair trial, depending on how much money the family can put up for his bail.”