Kangaroo Courts In America: The Truth About This Broken System

In America, we pride ourselves on being a nation of laws. But what happens when the justice system breaks down? When the courts are no longer impartial, when can the government use them to silence its critics? This is the reality of kangaroo courts in America.

What is a Kangaroo Court

Kangaroo courts are a type of court that operate outside of the law. They are often used to punish people who have spoken out against the government or silence political opposition.

Kangaroo courts are common in countries with dictatorships, and they have been known to hand down arbitrary and unfair judgments.

Kangaroo Court Origins

The term is mainly derived from the concept of justice going through leaps, like in the case of a kangaroo: “jumping” or intentionally ignoring evidence that would favor the defendants.

History Of Kangaroo Courts

Kangaroo courts have been used throughout history to silence dissenters. In Nazi Germany, opponents of the regime were often tried in kangaroo courts and sentenced to death.

In Stalin’s Soviet Union, kangaroo courts were used to purge political enemies and keep the population in line.

Today, kangaroo courts are still being used worldwide to silence those who speak out against their governments. And sadly, America is not immune to this problem.

Did you know?

A kangaroo court has never been a court by a kangaroo, but there has been nothing known about its origins.

It has been suggested that kangaroo courts got their names because the courts initially had rapid and unexpected movements from one place to the other.

However, the above hypotheses have not been proved. The word kangaroo court has the earliest usage in the Southwest USA since the early 1900s when kangaroos were introduced.

Why Do We Say Kangaroo Court

The Kangaroo court was inspired by the picture of these judges moving around the country, less influenced by justice than by a desire for justice.

The term is widely used by those who are criticizing a court.

How does a kangaroo court work?

Generally speaking, kangaroo courts are any proceeding that tries to ensure a fair hearing with no standard due process protections, including the right to call witnesses and the right to confront your accuser and a hearing before a judge.

Kangaroo Prosecution

A biased or rash court proceeding that ends with the highest possible punishment: the illegal prosecution carried out by individuals who take the justice of the law into their own hands, such as those carried out by vigilantes or prisoners.

Kangaroo Court Examples

There have been multiple cases of kangaroo courts in America over the years.

Chelsea Manning

One notable example is the case of Chelsea Manning. Manning is a former soldier convicted of leaking classified information to the public. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but President Obama later commuted her sentence.

However, Manning is still facing charges in a kangaroo court set up by the Trump administration. If convicted, she could be sent back to prison for 20 years.

Dr. Conrad Murray

Another cause of a kangaroo court in America is the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Murray was the doctor who treated Michael Jackson before his death. He was put on trial for involuntary manslaughter, and despite evidence that he did not cause Jackson’s death, he was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison.

What do you call a fake trial?

A mock court is a fake trial. Unlike the Moot Court, mock trials simulate trials at lower courts while moot courts mimic appellate proceedings.

Mock trials may involve simulated trials by students. The judge said that a public AMTA case is still ongoing throughout the academic year. Each year there are different civil and criminal cases.

Examples of kangaroo court in a sentence

Recent Web examples:

The opposition leader could face a maximum term of 10 years imprisonment. Then they were blasted on the kangaroo court in front of giant screens.

Emi is formally charged with murder by a kangaroo court.

Earlier, he said his professional experience was fading, and his decision was taken as he was afraid of the consequences. Yaki said the court would be a kangaroo court.

A kangaroo court-style trial or an open trial could prevent an individual from being charged in the case from being convicted under a kangaroo law.

These example sentences are automatically collected and retrieved from various online news sites to reflect the current usage of a kangaroo court. This example does not represent Merriam-Webster’s views.

Kangaroo Court Synonyms

Below are a few synonyms for “kangaroo court,” as provided by the online dictionary Merriam-Webster.

ad hoc court, arbitrary court, court of injustice, kangaroo court, military court, people’s court, star chamber, summary court, tribunal, lynch mob operated tribunal.


Kangaroo court is a travesty of justice, and they have no place in America. We must reform our justice system so that it is fair and impartial, and we must hold those who abuse their power accountable. Only then can we honestly say that we are a nation of laws.


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