I found this neat poem in a pulp magazine purchased at the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention. It’s the August 1932 Ace High Magazine. Judge Bean is supposed to have been the epitome of the “hanging judge” in the Wild West. In looking for the original picture featured above the poem–which was taken in 1900, I found that Judge Bean’s building still stands. There are several modern day photos of his place on Flickr.
The law is something that must be integrated into every Western game whether it is a corrupt or harsh lawman or judge or one of the fair and honest justices. Different shades of law can make for an interesting game. The sheriff or marshal of a certain populated area could be a recurring NPC that works for or against the players. Justices who move too quickly in dispensing their brand of Judge Bean type law could put some player characters in a very precarious situation. Perhaps requiring a jail break just before the hanging.