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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98338 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Stopping Drug Traffic on the High Seas - Jurisdiction Over Stateless Vessels Under 21 USC 955a
Journal: Denver Journal of International Law and Policy  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:(Fall 1983)  Pages:109-116
Author(s): L H Knowles
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article focuses on issues raised by recent court interpretations of section 955a of the Marijuana on the High Seas Act.
Abstract: The issues are (1) courts' use of section 955a to obtain jurisdiction over stateless vessels suspected of transporting illegal drugs, (2) definitions of 'stateless vessels' in section 955a and how this affects the exercise of jurisdiction, and (3) the consequences of denying fourth amendment rights to persons aboard stateless vessels on the high seas. In the United States v. Marino-Garcia, the court rebutted the defendants' assertion that conviction under section 955a requires a showing of the vessel's connection to the United States. The court ruled that the vessel at issue was a 'stateless' vessel and that the United States has jurisdiction over all stateless vessels on the high seas. In United States v. Martinez, the court found that a stateless vessel is one which does not have a valid registration under the law of the country to which the vessel claims a nexus. In United States v. Knight, the court found that the vessel at issue was stateless because it had adopted various nationalities according to convenience. Under these decisions, the U.S. Coast Guard is boarding vessels on the high seas because of a suspicion they are stateless. Instead of focusing on the statelessness of a vessel, court rulings should focus on the vessel's activities vis-a-vis drug smuggling. Forty-seven footnotes are listed.
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Drug laws; Drug smuggling; Judicial decisions; River and marine policing; US Coast Guard
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