"Find out the truth first. I know Will Mayes. (1.19)
Hawkshaw has stepped forward as a character witness for Will. At this point, he simply proposes that they investigate before jumping to any conclusions.
"Lets get the sheriff and do this thing right." (1.40)
Here Hawkshaw suggests that the matter be handled through the legal justice system. But, for McLendon the important thing is showing the community that even rumors of black man abusing a white woman won't be tolerated. Legal process would only slow down the wheels of the justice he thinks he is serving.
[D]uring the over-the-way Christmas visiting they would tell her about him, about how well he looked […] (2.4)
Minnie is considered an adulteress and taunted about her relationship with the banker, but the banker is celebrated for his bachelor Christmas partying, and suffers no social stigma as a result of their relationship. Where is the justice in that?