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NCJ Number: 69224 Find in a Library
Title: SCOPE OF BRIBERY UNDER THE TRAVEL ACT
Journal: JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:70  Issue:3  Dated:(FALL 1979)  Pages:337-348
Author(s): D B GABRIEL
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: EVIDENCE WHICH SHEDS SOME LIGHT ON THE MEANING OF THE TERM BRIBERY IN THE CONTEXT OF THE TRAVEL ACT IS DISCUSSED BY A LEGAL SCHOLAR, WHO MAKES A STRONG CASE FOR RESTRICTING IT TO ITS USAGE IN COMMON LAW.
Abstract: THIS STUDY POINTS OUT THAT, IN CONSTRUCTING THE MEANING OF A DOUBTFUL TERM IN A STATUTE, ONE SHOULD PROPERLY TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ALL THE EVIDENCE INDICATING THE MEANING INTENDED BY CONGRESS. THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE TRAVEL ACT AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING ITS ENACTMENT ARE DESCRIBED HERE AS YIELDING NO DEFINITIVE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF THE MEANING OF BRIBERY IN THE TRAVEL ACT. THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TERM EXTORTION BY THE SUPREME COURT IN A WELL-KNOWN CASE SUPPORTS THE CONTENTION THAT BRIBERY SHOULD BE GIVEN ITS COMMON LAW MEANING. VARIOUS OPINIONS BY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES ARE CITED IN FAVOR OF SUCH CONSTRUCTION. ARGUING AGAINST A NEEDLESSLY BROAD READING OF BRIBERY, THIS STUDY NOTES THAT IT WOULD DIVERT FEDERAL POLICE RESOURCES, RAISE STATE MISDEMEANORS TO FEDERAL FELONIES, AND ALTER TO SOME EXTENT FEDERAL-STATE RELATIONS, WITHOUT A CLEAR INDICATION THAT THE PURPOSE OF CONGRESS IN ENACTING THE TRAVEL ACT WOULD BE SERVED. ON THE OTHER HAND, UNCERTAINTY CONCERNING THE PROPER CONSTRUCTION OF THE TERM BRIBERY IN THE TRAVEL ACT CANNOT BE ENTIRELY DISPELLED. YET, CONSIDERING THE STATUTE'S PURPOSE, LEGISLATIVE HISTORY, AND OTHER CONSTRUCTIONAL AIDS, ONE MUST CONCLUDE IN FAVOR OF THE DOCTRINE OF STRICT CONSTRUCTION. THE AMBIGUITY IN THE AMBIT OF THIS PENAL STATUTE MUST BE RESOLVED IN FAVOR OF LENITY TO THE ACCUSED, AND BRIBERY SHOULD BE RESTRICTED TO ITS MEANING IN COMMON LAW; I.E., THE BRIBERY OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS. NUMEROUS EXPLANATORY FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Bribery; Federal law violations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69224

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