RICO (The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act)

RICO (The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act)United States Federal Law does everything in its power in order to combat the continuing growth of criminal organizations. One of the countermeasures initiated in 1970, is an Act relating to the control of organized crime in the United States, also known as RICO (OCCA).

RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. This term applies to a Federal Law, designed to combat organized groups running illegal business (i.e. racketeering), which may include the importation and sale of illegal drugs, gambling, money laundering, prostitution rings, bribery, drug trafficking, slavery, or any act involving murder, kidnapping, arson, robbery, extortion, dealing with obscene matter, terrorism, bankruptcy or security fraud, helping aliens to enter illegally the country, dealing with controlled substance, etc. Continue reading

Killing Another Human – Criminal Homicide

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It is illegal to take the life of another, despite the prevailing circumstances it is called homicide. Homicides are all killings of humans which violate criminal laws including murder and manslaughter. The most serious criminal homicide is the first degree murder. This means that the killing was intentional and planned, the killer had enough time to form a conscious intent to kill. If someone planned on killing one victim, but accidentally killed someone else, the murder is still regarded as intentional. A first degree murder can also include “malice aforethought“, that means causing great bodily harm before killing a person.

knifeManslaughter means taking the life of a human without having a malicious intent or planning it. It is also called a reckless killing or a killing done in the heat of the moment. A manslaughter can be involuntary when the death occurs during a commission of a non-felony (i.e. reckless driving). Voluntary manslaughter includes killing in the heat of passion or while committing a felony.

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Defining Illegal Behavior: Felonies Vs. Misdemeanors Vs. Infractions

The common criminal law abolished by most states is defining illegal behavior depending on the severity of the crime. A criminal offense may be a felony, misdemeanor or an infraction.  Let’s try to explain each type of the offense and make difference between them.

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Felonies are considered to be the most serious class of offense throughout the United States because they typically violate the moral standards of the community. Felonies are usually punishable by fines, imprisonment in a state prison lasting more that one year or both. Felonies include:

  • terrorism
  • murder
  • arson
  • kidnapping
  • rape
  • treason and others.

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Capital Sentence Set Aside for California Inmate

 

In a recent Wall Street Journal Law Blog Post written by Chad Bray entitled:California’s Longest-Serving Death Row Inmate Wins in Ninth Circuit, Mr. Stankewitz, a Native American, has been on death row in California since 1978, when he was convicted in the kidnapping and murder of Ms. Greybeal had his capital sentence set aside.

Mr. Stankewitz was one of the first people sentenced to death after the state reinstated capital punishment in 1978. Thirteen people have been executed since.  In a 2-1 decision Monday, the Ninth Circuit upheld a court order that Mr. Stankewitz’s death sentence be vacated unless California officials seek to retry the capital phase of his case within 90 days or resentence him to life without parole.

The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit tracked that of a lower court, which found that a lawyer for Douglas Ray Stankewitz failed to investigate circumstances leading up to the murder of Theresa Greybeal – namely Mr. Stankewitz’s abusive childhood and long history of substance abuse.

For further information, please read the entire Wall Street Journal Blog Post.