Magical Malfeasance

Just like the human community, the preternatural community is made up mainly of relatively law abiding people. But there are the exceptions. And those exceptions can be remarkably frightening. The legal system makes a rather extreme distinction where preternatural criminals are involved. After several disasters the decision was made that there was simply no safe way to contain these kinds of criminals and so the Magical malfeasance laws were written.

There are basically three parts to these laws. First, there is only one penalty for any felony or violent crime committed by a person shown to possess preternatural abilities of any type. Death. Unlike the normal legal system's plodding, cautious approach to execution, for preternatural criminals the trial can be held in absentia, before apprehension, and the verdict is almost always guilty. The warrant issued is not an arrest warrant, it is a warrant of execution, allowing law enforcement, vampire executioners (who were later given federal marshal status anyway), and bounty hunters acting on the warrant to destroy the criminal as soon as they are found.

Second, a three strike rule for misdemeanors was instituted. Three misdemeanors for a non-human preternatural (i.e. a shifter or a vampire) is equivalent to a felony. See rule one. In the right circumstances, it is entirely possible for a vampire or werewolf to be issued a warrant of execution for an excessive number of unpaid parking tickets.

Third, an new crime was added to the books. "Magical Malfeasance" is the use of any preternatural ability to harm or control a human against their will, or for the purposes of assisting in the commission or concealment of a crime committed by mundane means. This includes but is not limited to vampiric hypnosis, any curse or spell performed by a witch or voodoo practitioner, any use of claws, fangs, shapeshifting, or superhuman strength, or an attack with a controlled zombie as the "weapon". Most importantly, this law is except from self defense rules. Use of any magical means to attack a human is considered use of deadly force, regardless of whether it is in defense of the preternatural's own person or the life of another.

Effectively, the law only treats preternatural beings as humans as long as they act like normal, law abiding humans. An animator who stabs and kills someone who was attempting to mug them is in the same position as anyone else who did the same thing. If they even had a zombie restrain the attacker, whether the mugger is injured or not, they the animator would be headed for a death sentence when the police get involved.

Even without considering the many centuries which their societies grew in the shadows, one need only look as far as these laws to understand why shifter groups are extremely reluctant to get the authorities involved in any situation, even when they are the victims.