CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Otey on Venue for Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering

Melvin Otey (Faulkner University - Thomas Goode Jones School of Law) has posted The Vexing Case of Venue for Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (Penn State Law Review, Vol. 125, No. 3, 2021) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
The right of accused persons to have their guilt adjudicated in the locations where their alleged crimes occurred is intrinsic to American conceptions of ordered liberty and fundamental fairness. It is so important that it is codified in, among other places, two constitutional provisions. Yet, dramatic technological advances have made affixing venue for some modern crimes increasingly difficult. Violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1959, which proscribes violent crimes in aid of racketeering, exemplify the complexity. Courts have used different methods to venue these prosecutions, but the approaches are largely inconsistent with traditional venue determinations, potentially impinge on defendants’ constitutional rights, and easily burden defendants’ vital interests. Consequently, a new approach is sorely needed. This Article proposes a standard that respects both the need for effective prosecution of violent crimes in aid of racketeering and defendants’ compelling interests in answering charges only where alleged offenses occur.

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