sassywood
 n.— «About 50 people in the village of Klay, northwestern Liberia, recently gathered to watch a man apply red-hot metal to the limbs of four youths accused of robbery. The man dipped a machete in a concoction of water, palm oil and kola nuts, held it in fire for several minutes, and then placed it on the right legs of the four suspects. None of the youths—ages 16 to 26—appeared to flinch. They were deemed not guilty. This practice known as “sassywood” is banned under national law, but is still regarded as a legitimate form of justice by many Liberians. A suspect is subjected to intense pain and judged on his or her reaction—if the hot metal burns the person’s leg, he or she is found guilty.» —“Trial By Ordeal Makes the Guilty Burn But ‘Undermines Justice’” by UN Integrated Regional Information Networks in Monrovia, Liberia allAfrica.com Nov. 1, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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