Criminal Law. Chapter 13 Crimes Against the State Joel Samaha, 9 th Ed. Treason. Treason is the only crime defined in the U.S. Constitution. (Article III, Section 3)
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Crimes Against the State
Joel Samaha, 9th Ed.
Treason is the only crime
defined in the U.S. Constitution.
(Article III, Section 3)
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or, in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act,
or on Confession in open Court.
Penalty: death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000, and shall be incapable of holding any public office under the United States.
a. Treason requires levying war against the U.S.
b. Treason also requires giving aid and comfort to enemies of the U.S.
a. Defendants must have had the intent to give aid and comfort.
b. The intent must have been for the very purpose of betraying the U.S. by means of that aid and comfort.
a. Two witnesses to the actusreus are required.
b. Confession in open court is also proof.
Sedition includes advocating the violent overthrow
of the U.S. government by either speech,
writing (libel), or conspiracy.
(U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 115)
Sabotage is damaging and/or destroying property
related to war and defense material,
buildings, and utilities
(which includes transportation and harbors).
Sabotage also includes producing defective property
related to war and defense.
a. Includes: destroy, damage, obstruct, interfere, contaminate, and/or produce defective war or national defense materials.
a. The defendant has to purposely obstruct (or commit any other acts in actus reus).
b. The defendant has to knowingly obstruct (or commit any other acts in actus reus).
c. The defendant has to negligently obstruct (or commit any other acts in actus reus).
a. The sabotage has to take place when the U. S. is at war.
b. Sabotage can also take place during a national emergency.
Espionage is secret intelligence gathering by spies
about foreign people, activities, and enterprises
for political and military uses.
U.S. Code espionage elements (any time)
a. Includes: communicate, deliver, transmit, or attempt to communicate, deliver, or transmit intelligence information harmful to the U.S.
a. The defendant has to injure purposely.
b. The defendant has to have reason to believe use of the intelligence will cause injury.
a. Intelligence was provided to a foreign government.
b. Intelligence was provided to a foreign faction or party.
c. Intelligence was provided to a foreign military or naval force.
d. Intelligence was provided to a foreign representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen.
U.S. Code espionage elements (during war).
a. Collect any intelligence useful to the enemy, publish it, communicate it, or attempt to do so.
a. The intent to communicate information to the enemy.
a. It occurs during time of war.
Treason, sedition, sabotage, espionage, murder,
attempted murder, and conspiracy to murder
can all be used to prosecute crimes
related to terrorists and terrorist organizations.
Specific antiterrorism crimes are prosecuted under
U.S. Code Chapter 113 B, “Terrorism;”
the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (1996); and the U.S.A. Patriot Act (2001).
* The code divides terrorism into two kinds: international terrorism (outside the U.S.) and domestic terrorism – acts intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, acts that intimidate or coerce public policy making, or acts that affect the government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.
a. “any destructive device” – explosive, incendiary, poison gas, bomb, grenade, rocket, missile, mine, or similar device.
b. any weapond intended to cause death or serious bodily injury by poisonous chemicals or precursor
c. any weapon involving a disease mechanism
d. any weapon designed to release radiation or radioactivity at levels dangerous to human life
It is a felony for anyone whose conduct
transcends national boundaries –
acts that take place partly outside and partly inside the U.S.
(U.S. Code, Section 2332b)
a. committing violent crimes against any person inside the U.S., e.g., kill, kidnap, maim, assault, assault with a deadly weapon.
b. create a substantial risk of serious bodily injury by destroying or damaging property within the U.S.
c. threatening or attempting or conspiring to commit (a) or (b).
a. harboring or concealing persons who have committed or are about to commit a list of terrorist-related crimes (the list of terrorist-related crimes is basically all of the crimes already mentioned – treason, sedition, sabotage, espionage, using weapons of mass destruction, etc.).
a. knowing (or a reasonable person should have known) the crimes listed under the actusreuswere going to be committed.
Since September 11, 2001,
the most commonly prosecuted crime
against the state.
a. provide material support or resources to individual terrorists or terrorists organizations
b. conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, or ownership of material support or resources
a. intending or knowing that support or resources are to be used in preparing or committing a list of crimes helpful to terrorist or terrorist organizations.
* Material support includes: currency or financial instruments, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice, safe houses, communications equipment, personnel, transportation, weapons or explosives, etc.
Humanitarian Law Project, v. Gonzales (2005)
Does the ‘void-for-vagueness doctrine’ apply to this case?
If so, in what way?