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1037. Kidnapping—Penalty Provision

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-322, § 60003(a)(6), effective September 13, 1994, reinstated the death penalty for kidnapping and provided an effective mechanism for utilization of the death penalty punishment provision where the death of any person results. Federal prosecutors are advised to consult the Death Penalty Protocol as detailed in JM 9-10.000 whether they intend to request permission to seek the death penalty or permission not to seek the death penalty. With respect to kidnapping, or conspiracies to kidnap, taking place prior to September 13, 1994, the penalty was "imprisonment for any term of years or for life." See Pub. L. 92-539.

In 1976, Public Law No. 94-647 extended the scope of the statute to cover situations in which the victim is a "foreign official, an internationally protected person, or an official guest," (see this Manual at 1623), and provided for a penalty of not more than 20 years imprisonment for an attempted kidnapping of such individuals (18 U.S.C. § 1201(d)).

In 1986, Public Law No. 99-646 amended § 1201(a) to cover kidnapping of Federal officers and employees designated in § 1114 of Title 18 U.S.C., and provided for a penalty of not more than 20 years imprisonment for attempted kidnapping of persons so designated (§ 1201(d)).

[cited in JM 9-60.100]

Updated January 21, 2020