Lynchings in the United States, total number. Lynching is a premeditated extrajudicial killing by a group. It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob in order to punish an alleged transgressor, punish a convicted transgressor, or intimidate. In the United States, lynchings of African Americans became frequent in the South during the period after the Reconstruction era.Source: Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature (New York: Penguin Group, 2011). Pg. 384.