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Federal Criminal Code Chapter 18 – Congressional, Cabinet, and Supreme Court Assassination, Kidnapping, and Assault

| Feb 9, 2021 | Federal Crimes |

It has been 232 years since the Congress of the United States was established. In that time period, a total of twenty-eight Congress members have either been killed or wounded while in office: fifteen fatalities and thirteen injuries, to be exact. In modern politics, these numbers are truly alarming, even more so if you consider the fact that the U.S.A. is the youngest nation among first-world countries.

With this issue at hand, Federal Criminal Code Chapter 18 aims to bring harsh penalties to whoever murders, kidnaps, or assaults any of the following federal officials:

  • Congressman or congresswoman;
  • Elected congressman or congresswoman;
  • The head or second ranking official of any department from the executive government;
  • A person nominated to be head of any department from the executive government;
  • Director, nominated Director, or Principal Deputy Director of of National Intelligence;
  • Director, nominated Director, or Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency;
  • A major candidate for the Presidency or Vice Presidency;
  • The Chief Justice of the United States or nominated Chief Justice of the United States; and
  • The Associate Justices of the Supreme Court or any nominee for such position.

For further reference, Federal Criminal Code Chapter 18 specifies that “executive departments” include:

  • The Department of State;
  • The Department of Treasury;
  • The Department of Defense;
  • The Department of Justice;
  • The Department of the Interior;
  • The Department of Agriculture;
  • The Department of Commerce;
  • The Department of Labor;
  • The Department of Health and Human Services;
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development;
  • The Department of Transportation;
  • The Department of Energy;
  • The Department of Education;
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs; and
  • The Department of Homeland Security.

To be declared guilty of violating Federal Criminal Code Chapter 18, the prosecutor must prove the following:

  • The defendant engaged in the assault, kidnapping, or assassination of a person;
  • The defendant attempted to engage in the assault, kidnapping, or assassination of a person;
  • The defendant, with two or more other individuals, conspired to assassinate or kidnap a person; and
  • The said person belongs to any of the positions described in this chapter.

Take note that you cannot use the defense of not knowing that the person is protected under this law. It is the act or intent itself that matters.

A special case such as these would be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This should give you enough idea as to how serious these types of charges are.

Penalties

There are varying penalties for specific crimes under Federal Criminal Code Chapter 18. For instance, anyone who assassinates any person protected under this chapter shall face the following consequences:

  • First degree murder results in either death penalty or life imprisonment; 
  • Second degree murder results in imprisonment for any terms of years or life imprisonment;
  • Voluntary manslaughter results in imprisonment for 10 years and/or not more than $1,000 in fines; and
  • Involuntary manslaughter results in imprisonment for three years and/or not more than $1,000 in fines.

Meanwhile, kidnapping under this section shall be prosecutable by:

  • Life imprisonment;
  • Any terms of years; or
  • Death penalty.

Attempt to kill or kidnap as stated under this section results in:

  • Imprisonment for any terms of life.

A conspiracy to kill or kidnap a protected person under this law shall be penalized by:

  • Life imprisonment;
  • Any terms of years; or
  • Death penalty.

Finally, an assault under this section is prosectuable by:

  • Not more than 10 years imprisonment; and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines.

Are You Facing a Federal Charge? 

Here in the Law Offices of Raoul Severo, we take pride in consistently satisfying our clients by making sure that they are properly represented in court. We handle both state and federal charges, either way, we treat all cases as equally important. Hence, if you are accused of assassinating, kidnapping, or assaulting a federal congressional official or any other person, contact us immediately.