US position on vigilantism

To Get Suspect, Executive Hopes Money Will Talk

Doesn’t this amount to hiring a hit man? How is this different from Joe advertising a bounty for Bob’s head on a stick? Surely Joe would be thrown in jail for such a thing. In short, is it legal?

After Iran put out the contract on Salman Rushdie, Larry Flynt tried putting a price on the Ayatollah’s head. The US government was NOT pleased, and he withdrew it almost immediatedly. I’m sure there were fines involved.

The main difference in this and hiring a hit man or Flynt’s publicity stunt is that our government has already (in 1998)put a price of $5 million on bin Ladin’s head. Phillips is just adding to what is already there and sanctioned by the United States. Communities, corporations and individuals often set up or add to a reward fund for the apprehension (or conviction) of a suspected criminal. If the reward by the US government is payable “dead or alive” I don’t see where Phillips is doing anything illegal. If the “dead or alive” directive is his and not sanctioned by the US Government he could probably be held criminally liable.

That’s my WAG, anyhoo.