16 April 2013

Is the Boston bombing a federal or state crime?

Massachusetts could obviously treat the crime as murders. But what about a federal crime?

18 USC § 844(d) is at least one federal statute that seems to contemplate this sort of situation:
Whoever transports or receives, or attempts to transport or receive, in interstate or foreign commerce any explosive with the knowledge or intent that it will be used to kill, injure, or intimidate any individual or unlawfully to damage or destroy any building, vehicle, or other real or personal property, shall be imprisoned for not more than ten years, or fined under this title, or both; and if personal injury results to any person, including any public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be imprisoned for not more than twenty years or fined under this title, or both; and if death results to any person, including any public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years, or to the death penalty or to life imprisonment.
Massachusetts does not have the death penalty, but the federal law does.

Of course, there may be other more relevant federal statutes that cover this crime that will emerge as more details come out.
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