A vigilante (
"Vigilante justice" is often rationalized by the concept that proper legal forms of criminal punishment are either nonexistent, insufficient, or inefficient. Vigilantes normally see the government as ineffective in enforcing the law; such individuals often claim to justify their actions as a fulfillment of the wishes of the community.
Persons alleged to be escaping the law or above the law are sometimes the victims of vigilantism. 
Vigilante conduct involves varied degrees of violence. Vigilantes could assault targets verbally and/or physically, damage and/or vandalize property, or even murder individuals.
In a number of cases, vigilantism has involved targets with mistaken identities.