18 U.S.C. § 242 – Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law

     This page is continued from Criminal Law Self-Help >>>> Types of Crimes and Corresponding Laws >>>> Color of Law Crimes (Abuse of Authority) >>>> Federal and State Statutes:

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      The U.S. Federal Judiciary cannot prevent officers or legislators from violating peoples’ rights, however there are statutes designed to hold officers accountable if they exceed or abuse their authority.  When State (including local) Officials choose not to hold an officer accountable when the facts at hand show that action is necessary (e.g. City Administrators choose not to press charges against a city police officer who violated the law) — that is an instance wherein civilians may find it necessary to “stack the facts” and file a criminal (and likely civil) action themselves.  One of the most fundamental U.S. codes designed to hold officers accountable for this type of crime is U.S. Code Title 18 – Part 1 – Chapter 13– §242 Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law”:

 U.S.C. “Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law” continues:

     “… If death results from the acts committed in violation of this section OR if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated (with a weapon) sexual abuse, OR an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, OR an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

    Read this statute on the U.S. House of Representative’s Office of Law Revision Counsel website:

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=deprivation+of+rights+under+color+of+law&f=treesort&fq=true&num=1&hl=true&edition=prelim&granuleId=USC-prelim-title18-section242

    Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famously stated in his letter from Birmingham Jail:

     Please sign our petition to institute Increased Penalties for Color of Law Crimes.

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