More on the Law of Suicide Bombing

 Posted by on 1 April 2003 at 9:29 pm  Uncategorized
Apr 012003

A while back, I posted a question on whether the payment of the families of suicide bombers is a form of murder for hire. Former Arizona prosecutor and current judge Bill Perry was kind enough to send me a detailed reply. In response to his comments, I further asked whether “the family members of the suicide bombers who accept the cash payment for the murder (and who perhaps even encouraged the suicide bomber to commit murder) accomplices in any legal sense.” Bill was once again kind enough to reply thusly:

I know of no such prosecutions of family members for accepting cash, but I do know of statutes which could apply in Arizona, Federal courts, and perhaps some others. It involves a bit of nose holding for Objectivists and libertarians. This would be a violation of the money laundering statutes.

Money laundering includes “…receiving… racketeering proceeds knowing or having reason to know they are the proceeds of an offense.” Terrorism is defined as a racketeering offense. The money laundering in the first degree statute (which would be directed at the person directing the act and making the payment) specifically mentions terrorism in a subsection of the statutes. ARS Section 13-2317.

Payment for doing drug deals has been included as a racketeering offense, and RICO civil forfeitures have been applied as well as criminal prosecutions. I see no reason this couldn’t be applied in the terrorism context.

The federal laws are similar to the Arizona laws (they were first). They could be applied to your example.

There are a number of crimes that most Objectivists and libertarians would consider to be crimes that are included in racketeering–for example homicide, robbery kidnapping, forgery, theft and terrorism. Most of them are victimless crimes that we do not think should be crimes. ARS Section 13-2301 (4).

In a better world the statutes could be modified to cover only those things that should be crimes.


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