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1672. Destruction Of Government Property -- Other Statutes Affected

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1363 is a general statute that applies to destruction or injury and attempted destruction or injury of public and private property when that property is located within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. With its new expansive language, section 1363 is now applicable to every destruction of property offense that occurs within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. When certain specified property is destroyed by fire, however, the government may be required to prosecute under 18 U.S.C. § 81 (arson). See United States v. LaPorta, 46 F.3d 152, 158 (2d Cir. 1994) (when offense is destruction of government property by fire, government must prosecute using specific arson-related statute rather than combination of generalized statutes); but cf. United States v. Jones, 607 F.2d 269, 271-72 (9th Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 1085 (1980) (where act violates more than one statute, government may elect to prosecute under either unless congressional history shows Congress intended to disallow use of more general statute).

Section 1363 is a designated "Federal crime of terrorism" if the offense is "calculated to influence or effect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct . . . ." 18 U.S.C. § 2332b(g)(5). If such is present, the FBI is the primary Federal investigative agency. See 18 U.S.C. § 2332b(f).

[cited in JM 9-66.500]

Updated January 17, 2020