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1605. Kidnapping -- 18 U.S.C. 351(b)

As with the Federal Kidnapping Act (18 U.S.C. § 1201), 18 U.S.C. § 351(b) does not attempt to define the term "kidnap." However, it appears that the essential elements of the offense are the involuntary nature of the seizure and detention. Chatwin v. United States, 326 U.S. 455, 465 (1964). To the extent that transportation is deemed to be an element of kidnapping under this statute, any significant transportation should suffice, cf. 2 Bish. Criminal Law, § 750 (9th Ed.). Analogizing this statute to 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(4) (kidnapping of protected foreign officials), it does not appear that transportation across a State line is an element of the offense.

Section 351(b) provides for the death penalty if death results to the victim. The procedures for the imposition of capital punishment are found at 18 U.S.C. §§ 3591 et seq. If the death penalty is applicable, the United States Attorney must comply with the provisions of JM 9-10.000.

[cited in JM 9-65.700]

Updated January 17, 2020