Kidnapping and Federal Laws

Kidnappingand Federal Laws


Kidnappingand Federal Laws

Accordingto the common laws, kidnapping refers to forcibly abducting or takingsomeone (unlawful imprisonment) without their legal consent or legaldirection and moving them to another place. According to the law, itis a kidnapping when the intentions are to obtain a ransomunlawfully, to interfere with their performance of their governmentor political duty, inflict physical harm or terrorize the victim orfacilitate the commissioning of a felony or escape (Pollock, 2012,p195).

Primarily,kidnapping was a state crime until 1934. With the help of CharlesLindberg Jr., the Congress passed and included kidnapping in thefederal law. However, up to date, kidnapping remains a state crime.Laws regarding kidnapping have interstate variances. In New York, forinstance, a person is guilty of unlawful imprisonment in the seconddegree when they restrain someone else. This is a Class A felony.However, a person is guilty of first-degree unlawful imprisonment ifhe restrains someone causing bodily harm and physical injury, makingit a Class E Felony (Pollock, 2012, p196). This differs a little fromfirst-degree kidnapping, which includes efforts made by the kidnapperto obtain a ransom, to engage in a particular activity or refrain thevictim from engaging in a particular activity and it’s a class A-1felony.

Althoughthe crime of kidnapping has maintained its aspect of common law inmost of its definition, asportation requirement has been greatlyreduced by case law. The requirement of the common law that thepurpose of kidnapping if for obtaining money or illegal purpose hasalso been expanded either by statute or case law (Hagan, 2012, n.p).One of the emerging issues facing kidnapping laws is dealing withparental kidnapping where a parent restrains a child to protect themfrom an abusive custodian parent. The law has discouraged theseparents from taking the law into their own hands (Buck, 2014, n.p).


Buck,T. (2014). International child law. Routledge.

Hagan,F. E. (2012). Introduction to Criminology: Theories, methods, andcriminal behavior. Sage Publications.

Pollock,J. M. (2012). Criminal Law. John C. Klotter Justice AdministrationLegal Series. Tenth Edition.