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Constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. § 1120

Date of Issuance:

Congress has clear constitutional authonty to proscribe killings committed by escaped federal inmates serving life sentences, as provided in 18 U.S.C. § 1120, where the killings facilitate the escape or the avoidance of recapture.

Congress’s penological and custodial interests in ensuring the incapacitation of life-sentenced federal inmates provide compelling support for the constitutionality of 18 U.S C. § 1120 even when it is applied with respect to a post-escape killing that is not related to the escape or subsequent efforts to avoid recapture.

Updated July 9, 2014