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NCJ Number: 66082 Find in a Library
Title: LEGAL PROBLEMS IN OFFENSES INVOLVING HOSTAGES
Journal: POLIZEI  Volume:68  Issue:4  Dated:(APRIL 1977)  Pages:110-114
Author(s): W LUDWIG
Corporate Author: Carl Heymanns Verlag
Germany (Unified)
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Carl Heymanns Verlag
5 Cologne 1, Germany United
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: WEST GERMAN LEGAL REGULATIONS AND LEGAL PROBLEMS ARISING IN HOSTAGE TAKINGS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: IN RESPONSE TO THE INCREASING NUMBER OF WEST GERMAN HOSTAGE TAKINGS, A 1971 LEGAL PROVISION EXTENDS KIDNAPPING LEGISLATION TO APPLY TO THE ABDUCTION OF ADULTS. THE LEGAL CONDITIONS OF THE OFFENSE ARE FULFILLED IF THE OFFENDER HAS THE HOSTAGE IN HIS POWER AND USES THE HOSTAGE WITH THE INTENT OF DURESS OR BLACKMAILING. SPECIAL PUNISHMENT CONDITIONS EXIST IF THE OFFENDER RELENTS AND RELEASES THE HOSTAGE WITHOUT OBTAINING COMPLIANCE TO HIS DEMANDS. IN PAYING RANSOM AND ASSURING THE OFFENDER OF SAFE-CONDUCT, THE POLICE IS NOT ACTING AS AN ACCESSORY TO THE OFFENSE; RATHER IN COOPERATING WITH THE OFFENDER TO AVERT DANGER, THE POLICE ITSELF IS LEGALLY THE VICTIM OF THE EXTORTION AND THEREFORE EXEMPT FROM PROSECUTION. IN DEFINING THE COMPETENCIES OF POLICE AND PROSECUTOR (E.G., IN GIVING THE ORDER TO SHOOT), THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS RULED THAT THE POLICE ARE IN CHARGE OF AVERTING IMMEDIATE DANGER WHILE THE PROSECUTOR IS IN COMMAND OF PROSECUTION DECISIONS. IN CASE OF A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS, THE AVERTING OF DANGER HAS PRIORITY OVER PROSECUTION. IN SHOOTING AT A HOSTAGE (WITH THE INTENT TO KILL), POLICE OFFICERS HAVE TO DEAL WITH TWO CONFLICTING LEGAL OBLIGATIONS--THAT OF PROTECTING THE LIVES OF OTHERS AND THAT OF PROTECTING THE OFFENDER'S LIFE. PRESENT POLICE REGULATIONS DEFINE THE GOALS OF WEAPON USE AS INCAPACITATION OF THE OFFENDER AND THE PREVENTION OF HIS ESCAPE. RECENT INTERPRETATIONS OF THESE REGULATIONS ARGUE THAT THE ONLY MEANS OF INCAPACITATING A DANGEROUS TERRORIST IS TO KILL HIM. HOWEVER, THIS ARGUMENT IS CONTROVERSIAL AND MORE DEFINITE LEGISLATION ON THE LEGALITY OF SHOOTING WITH THE INTENT TO KILL IS EXPECTED. THE ARTICLE CONTAINS A SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY. --IN GERMAN. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Antiterrorist laws; Germany; Hostage takers; Hostages; Police legal limitations; Police use of deadly force
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66082

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