Oswaldo, the hangman, talking to John Ruth, the bounty hunter, and Daisy Domergue, the convicted murderer.
Now, you’re wanted for murder.
For the sake of my analogy, let’s just assume that you did it. Now, John Ruth wants to take you back to Red Rock to stand trial for murder. And if you’re found guilty, the people of Red Rock will hang you in the town square. And, as the hangman, I will perform the execution. And if all those things end up taking place, that’s what civilized society calls justice.
However, if the relatives and the loved ones of the person you murdered were outside that door right now, and after busting down that door, they drag you out into the snow and hung you up by the neck, that would be frontier justice. Now, the good part about frontier justice is it’s very thirst-quenching. The bad part is it’s apt to be wrong as right. Well, not in your case. In your case, you’d have it coming. But other people, maybe not so much.
But ultimately, what’s the real difference between the two? The real difference is me. The hangman. To me, it doesn’t matter what you did. When I hang you, I’ll get no satisfaction from your death. It’s my job. I hang you in Red Rock. I move on to the next town. I hang someone else there. The man who pulls the lever that breaks your neck will be a dispassionate man. And that dispassion is the very essence of justice. For justice delivered without dispassion is always in danger of not being justice.
– Oswaldo Mobray (the hangman)
This is an interesting excerpt from the transcript of the movie The Hateful Eight (2015). You can watch this scene on YouTube. It talks about Frontier Justice - justice delivered out of vengeance, without a legal framework. It also talks about how it is not the same as true justice - as delivered by an executioner who does not derive pleasure from the execution.
It reminds me of The Dark Knight, when Batman finally has Joker in his grip. The very same Joker who was responsible for killing Bruce’s love-of-life Rachel. Even after this great personal loss Batman decides not to kill Joker. He decides against delivering frontier justice, and instead leaves Joker in the hands of law enforcement. You can watch this portion of the movie on YouTube.
Spoiler (The Hateful Eight): Turns out, Oswaldo Mobray was not the hangman.