Apparently when the State of Ohio Congress rewrote the laws of Ohio and calling it The Ohio Revised Code in 1974 they left in chapter 3761, dealing with mob action. This chapter was written in 1953 but I would venture to say it is probably much older than that as it deals with citizens forming mobs and lynching people.

Actually a “Lynching” in Ohio means an act of violence by a mob upon the body of any person. It does not say the victim has to be dead. The same chapter includes “Serious injury”. What kind of compensation can the victim of a mob expect? If a judgment is rendered, $500 for a lynching but it rises to $1,000 if the mob uses whips, clubs or missiles.

The county in which this lynching took place is responsible for the payment. Of course the county can go after any member of the mob and demand that person or persons pay the money. Now a person who is injured and not able to perform meaningful manual labor for the remainder of his life, the county/mob must pay $5,000.

Interestingly enough, any person involved in a mob justice or lynching is further prohibited from doing so while wearing a white cap, mask or other disguise. That action then becomes a felony of the fourth degree.

3761.01 Assemblies – mob definitions.

As used in sections 3761.01 to 3761.10, inclusive, of the Revised Code:

(A) “Mob” means a collection of people assembled for an unlawful purpose and intending to do damage or injury to anyone, or pretending to exercise correctional power over other persons by violence and without authority of law.

(B) “Lynching” means an act of violence by a mob upon the body of any person.

(C) “Serious injury” means such injury as permanently or temporarily disables the person receiving it from earning a livelihood, by manual labor.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

3761.02 Damages in case of assault.

A person taken from officers of justice by a mob, and assaulted with whips, clubs, missiles, or in any other manner, may recover from the county in which the assault is made, damages not to exceed one thousand dollars.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

3761.03 Damages in case of lynching.

A person assaulted and lynched by a mob may recover, from the county in which such assault is made, a sum of not to exceed five hundred dollars; or, if the injury received there from is serious, a sum of not to exceed one thousand dollars; or, if such injury results in permanent disability to earn a livelihood by manual labor, a sum of not to exceed five thousand dollars.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

3761.07 County’s right of action against member of mob.

The county, in which a lynching occurs, may recover from any of the persons composing a mob the amount of a judgment and costs rendered against it, under sections3761.01 to 3761.10, inclusive, of the Revised Code, in favor of the legal representatives of a person killed or seriously injured by such mob. A person present, with hostile intent, at a lynching is a member of the mob and is liable under this section.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

3761.12 Prohibition against conspiracy while wearing disguise.

No person shall unite with two or more others to commit a misdemeanor while wearing white caps, masks, or other disguise.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

3761.16 Areas threatened by riot may be cordoned off. The chief administrative officer of a political subdivision with police powers, when engaged in suppressing a riot or when there is a clear and present danger of a riot, may cordon off any area or areas threatened by the riot and prohibit persons from entering the cordoned off area or areas except when carrying on necessary and legitimate pursuits and may prohibit the sale, offering for sale, dispensing, or transportation of firearms or other dangerous weapons, ammunition, dynamite, or other dangerous explosives in, to, or from the cordoned off areas.

Effective Date: 07-01-1996

3761.99 Penalty.

Whoever violates section 3761.12 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree.

Effective Date: 07-01-1996

I guess some laws just don’t need to be rewritten. Notice that in 1996 the penalty phase of the law was rewritten to make the crime a felony four. So although the law was not redone, the penalty for wearing a white mask during a lynching did increase. This is not a section of the ORC I have ever had the occasion to use, thankfully.

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