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NCJ Number: 65576 Find in a Library
Title: EXPANDING ROLE OF FEDERAL PROSECUTORS IN COMBATTING STATE AND LOCAL POLITICAL CORRUPTION
Journal: CUMBERLAND LAW REVIEW  Volume:8  Dated:(1977)  Pages:385-401
Author(s): T H HENDERSON
Corporate Author: Samford University
Cumberland School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Samford University
Birmingham, AL 35209
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: NEW PROCEDURAL METHODS AND THEORIES USED BY FEDERAL PROSECUTORS TO ATTACK CORRUPTION ON THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL ARE DESCRIBED, WITH SPECIFIC CASE EXAMPLES.
Abstract: LOCAL PROSECUTORS ARE OFTEN UNABLE TO DEAL WITH POLITICAL CORRUPTION BECAUSE OF INADEQUATE RESOURCES AND THE INVOLVEMENT OF THEIR OWN ESTABLISHMENTS IN CORRUPT SCHEMES. USING FEDERAL STATUTES THAT REGULATE CERTAIN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL MATTERS, FEDERAL PROSECUTORS IN THE LAST DECADE HAVE BEGUN TO FILL THIS ENFORCEMENT VOID. THE HOBBS ANTI-RACKETEERING ACT, AN EXTORTION STATUTE EMPLOYED PRIMARILY TO COMBAT LABOR VIOLENCE, HAS BEEN USED SUCCESSFULLY TO CONVICT CITY AND COUNTY OFFICIALS IN NEW JERSEY. TRADITIONALLY, COURTS CONSIDERED THAT CORRUPT PAYMENTS WERE BRIBES RATHER THAN EXTORTION UNLESS FEAR OR OTHER COERCIVE ELEMENTS WERE PRESENT. IN UNITED STATES V. ADDONIZIO PUBLIC OFFICIALS WERE CONVICTED OF RECEIVING KICKBACKS FOR CONTRACT AWARDS ON THE BASIS THAT FEAR OF ECONOMIC LOSS BY A CONTRACTOR COULD CONSTITUTE EXTORTION. ANOTHER EXPANSION OF THE HOBBS ACT INVOLVED THE 'COLOR-OF-OFFICIAL-RIGHT' DOCTRINE IN WHICH THE VICTIM MAKES PAYMENTS BELIEVING THAT THE OFFICIAL HAD THE POWER TO IMPOSE DURESS, ALTHOUGH DURESS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PROVED. IN SUCH CASES, THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN BRIBERY AND EXTORTION BECOMES IRRELEVANT. FEDERAL PROSECUTORS HAVE ALSO APPLIED THE MAIL FRAUD STATUTE WHICH MAKES IT ILLEGAL TO USE THE MAILS TO PROMOTE ANY SCHEME TO DEFRAUD. NEW INTERPRETATIONS HAVE EVOLVED WHICH STATE THAT A SCHEME TO DEFRAUD CAN INVOLVE INTANGIBLE LOSSES, SUCH AS SERVICES, AS WELL AS MONEY OR PROPERTY. FORMER GOVERNORS OF ILLINOIS AND MARYLAND AND A CHICAGO OFFICIAL HAVE BEEN INDICTED ON MAIL FRAUD VIOLATIONS. OTHER FEDERAL STATUTES REJUVENATED FOR ANTICORRUPTION CASES INCLUDE THE ORGANIZED CRIME CONTROL ACT OF 1970 AND THE TRAVEL ACT. THESE NEW TECHINQUES AND THEORIES WERE DEVELOPED WITH THE SCRUTINY AND APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE COURTS. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Bribery; Corruption of public officials; Federal law violations; Fraud; Judicial decisions; Kickbacks; Laws and Statutes; National crime surveys; Organized Crime Control Act of 1970; Prosecutors
Note: THIS ARTICLE WAS ADAPTED FROM A SPEECH GIVEN BY THE AUTHOR AT THE CUMBERLAND SCHOOL OF LAW ON OCTOBER 21, 1976
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65576

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