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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69826 Find in a Library
Title: Future of Federal Prosecution of Organized Crime
Journal: George Washington Law Review  Volume:47  Issue:4  Dated:(May 1979)  Pages:761-786
Author(s): W H Feldman
Corporate Author: George Washington University Law Review
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: George Washington University Law Review
Washington, DC 20052
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This note discusses the changes that the proposed Subchapter A of the Federal criminal laws would effect in the Federal campaign against organized crime, and assesses the desirability of these changes.
Abstract: Subchapter A of the proposed Federal Criminal Code reform bill is designed to facilitate prosecution of organized crime. Section 1801 would create an entirely new offense aimed specifically at the leaders of organized crime. The provision would probably not produce an overwhelming increase in the number of successful prosecutions of organized crime leaders, however, because prosecutors would still face significant problems proving the elements of the crime. In view of this predicted difficulty in obtaining convictions under the new offense, Congress should retain the provision for special offender sentencing under the current law. The proposed code would also reenact the present Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute in modified form. RICO prohibits an individual from conducting the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. Congress should modify the proposed definition of 'pattern' to exclude a single criminal episode from the scope of section 1802. Congress should also eliminate the uncertainty surrounding the meaning of 'through' by requiring a substantial nexus between the racketeering activity and the business affairs of the enterprise. In addition, Congress should define 'organized crime' and require proof of a defendant's membership in organized crime as an element of section 1802. The enactment of the proposed sections 1801 to 1805 would represent a significant expansion of Federal criminal jurisdiction under the commerce clause. This assertion of jurisdiction would withstand a constitutional challenge under the class of activities test established by the Supreme Court in Perez v. United States. Nevertheless, Congress should assess the desirability of usurping a function that has traditionally been left to the States. Case law is cited extensively in 232 footnotes. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Crime Control Programs; Crime prevention measures; Laws and Statutes; Organized crime prevention
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