A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange

State vs Federal crime

(1/6) > >>

Snooks:
I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the entertainment folder.  I've been watching Alcatraz on UK tv (no spoilers please!) and I'm a bit confused; not by the time travelling criminals but by what crimes puts you in federal prison.  I know Alcatraz was a federal prison (I've been there to visit so I know the basics of the place) but a lot of the criminals who have reappeared seem to be killers and I thought murder was a state crime because it's illegal everywhere and it's only federal if it happens on federal land.  I read a book a little while ago where the lead character had murdered her husband and one of the people she's in prison with comments that she's lucky the body was found on federal property otherwise she'd have been in a nastier state prison.  I did a bit of looking up on Wikipedia but I'm none the wiser.  Can anyone out there help me?

JenJay:
Bank robberies are federal crimes since banks are federally insured. If the criminal crosses state lines while committing the crime that will bump it to federal. If the person is wanted for crimes in numerous states sometimes the feds will step in and take over (depending on what the crimes were, otherwise the person will serve time in one state and then be transferred to another). I believe if the person becomes part of an ongoing multi-state investigation (like a drug ring) the feds will take over. Um.... trying to recall the various reasons DH has explained to me.  ;)

We toured Alcatraz two years ago and DH's federal credentials got us a special tour into the restricted areas - including the "dungeon" underneath. It was amazing! I had expected to be bored all day and instead DH had to practically drag me back to the boat that evening. One of the guides took us to a few cells that had housed famous criminals and insisted on taking our pictures. It was really fun!

Sharnita:
Another example - somebody tried to rob somebody carrying the mail.  Stupid for two reasons - he was a federal employee, making it a federal crime and he was an ex-marine so he beat the crud out of them.

Let's say you commit a federal crime in Michigan. Michigan does not have the death penalty.  But the federal government does.  So you can get the death penalty for a crime you commit in Michigan under certain circmstances.

(I seem to remember this being an issue when there was the sniper around DC who shot some federal employees)

ETA: My understanding is that they can put you in any federal prison in the country so it can be across the country and if it is a hradship for your family to visit, too bad.

JenJay:

--- Quote from: Sharnita on May 04, 2012, 08:40:56 AM ---Another example - somebody tried to rob somebody carrying the mail.  Stupid for two reasons - he was a federal employee, making it a federal crime and he was an ex-marine so he beat the crud out of them.

Let's say you commit a federal crime in Michigan. Michigan does not have the death penalty.  But the federal government does.  So you can get the death penalty for a crime you commit in Michigan under certain circmstances.

(I seem to remember this being an issue when there was the sniper around DC who shot some federal employees)

--- End quote ---

Sharnita's reply reminded me -

Mail is federally protected, too, so tampering with mail is a federal crime, as is sending something illegal through the mail.

I'm not sure about all federal employees, but I know that assaulting a federal law enforcement officer is a federal crime.

Snooks:
JenJay - the "dungeon" sounds amazing, was was it?

Ok I think I'm getting my head around how you can end up in federal prison  ;)  The two Alcatraz episodes I've seen where I'm not sure how they ended up there are the guy with the landmines (all the crimes happened in San Francisco), and the guy who poisoned his classmates at a highschool reunion - are schools federal property?

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version