General Question

bolwerk's avatar

What U.S. states (at least in theory) still allow the organization of a posse comitatus?

Asked by bolwerk (10322points) March 11th, 2011

These are the fixtures of western movies. A sheriff, marshal, or some other peace officer deputizes a crowd of citizens to catch a felon. I’d be curious to know how many U.S. states actually still allow this, at least in theory – and which states are they?

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3 Answers

marinelife's avatar

“Many states have modern posse comitatus statutes; one typical example is the Kentucky statute enacted in 1962 that gives any sheriff the power to “command and take with him the power of the county or a part thereof, to aid him in the execution of the duties of his office” (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. ยง 70.060 [Baldwin 1996]).”

The Legal Dictionary

blueiiznh's avatar

I believe the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 is still in effect but weakened by many states repealing it. Further erosion of it occured with the passing of the Patriot Act.
Would love to hear more.

quarkquarkquark's avatar

Can’t talk about specific states, but I do know that federal marshals have, among other things, the power to organize a posse.

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