Saturday, 4 February 2012

America's Forgotten Anti-Gangstalking Law: USC 18 Section 241

Many of Medawar's fellow bloggers are calling for laws in the USA, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom against "gangstalking" and "proxy stalking" which could both collectively be called organized stalking. And certainly in Canada and Australia, some legislative action is imperative. But it's long been Medawar's view that in the United Kingdom (both England and Scotland; unlike the Berlin Wall, Hadrian's Wall has never fallen in the legal sense) all forms of organized stalking were breaking several laws already and the problem was recognition of that fact by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Crown Prosecution Service and action by the police.

In the USA, there already is a highly specific law, under which it is pretty well impossible for any two or more persons to carry out a stalking campaign against a citizen, without conspiring to deny that citizen their legal and constitutional rights. Under USC18 section 241, this is an offence normally punishable by a fine and/or up to ten years imprisonment. But if the conspiracy leads to a loss of life, and the usual qualifications of premeditated murder are not specified (because murder is not a Federal offence and would be dealt with under county or state law if it had happened) then the penalty can be life imprisonment, or death.

So, if somebody is harassed and deprived of their legal and constitutional rights to the point where they commit suicide, or become ill and expire as some other consequence of the conspiracy to deny them their rights, then a capital crime has been committed. For example: if a conspiracy to harass a citizen restricted his ability to earn money to keep himself properly fed and housed and he were to die as a result of living rough, the conspirators have committed a capital crime, just as they would have done had they conspired to prevent him receiving proper medical treatment for an illness. Or, if they conspired to restrict his freedom of movement and he was unable to flee a natural disaster, they would have committed a capital crime that could be investigated by Federal Agents and tried in a Federal Court.

The possibility of life imprisonment or capital punishment also applies if the citizen is kidnapped, sexually assaulted, or there is an intent to sexually assault, or an attempt to kill.

These are extreme examples to demonstrate the circumstances in which organized stalking is a capital crime under US Federal Law. But not so extreme that there are no stalking groups currently risking such a charge. In fact, the threat and fact of sexual assault is pretty common.

In the less extreme case, whereby a citizen is not harried to his death, merely prevented from living the normal life of an American citizen, it is still a felony, punishable by a longer prison term than many burglaries, assaults and contraband offences. And nearly ALL stalking activity involving two or more persons acting together, commits this felony.

Even if a lone stalker enlists the help of another for a single part of his stalking campaign against a citizen, a conspiracy to deny that citizen his rights has probably taken place.

The relevant legal text is a lot shorter than this post and is reproduced, below.

       If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or
  intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth,
  Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any
  right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of
  the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;
  or
    If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the
  premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free
  exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured -
    They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than
  ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in
  violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an
  attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit
  aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined
  under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life,
  or both, or may be sentenced to death.
The second paragraph makes it obvious that the Congress had the Ku Klux Klan very much in mind when drafting this law; anyone who thinks that they are stalking in a more noble cause, should think again: if you resort to the Klan's methods, your cause is incapable of nobility and you fully deserve to be tarred with precisely the same brush. It is legally impossible to stalk in a good cause. This title is not an anti-racism law: it is a law against denying a citizen his constitutional and legal rights on any pretext whatsoever.

Update:
Four police officers in New Haven, Connecticut, have been indicted and arrested under this very law.

Further update:
Judge, Sheriff and Prosecutor from Mingo County, West Virginia, all jailed under this law and a few others. See also this link.