Lynch law n. The act or practice by private persons of inflicting punishment for crimes or offenses, without due process of law. Note: The term Lynch law is said to be derived from a Virginian named Lynch, who took the law into his own hands. But the origin of the term is very doubtful.
... was guaranteed. The safeguards of trial by jury, regular judicial procedure, and habeas corpus were established, in order that the methods of civilized life might take the place of the rough-and-ready justice of lynch law. During the course of the debate on the Ordinance, Congress added the sixth article forbidding slavery and ... — History of the United States • Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard