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Federal Courthouses to Be Made Pegleg Accessible

Julian Ku at Opinio Juris picked up on a Washington Post story quoting the ubiquitous unnamed "federal law enforcement official" as saying that more alleged pirates will be brought to the U.S. to stand trial, in light of Kenya's refusal to accept any more piracy suspects.

Though the article is not very clear on which of the 21 suspects currently in custody on warships will be transferred, Ku raises an interesting issue about jurisdiction. The piracy statute, 18 U.S.C. 1651, by its terms, does not seem to require that the alleged acts of pillaging be directed at an American vessel, just that the defendant "is afterwards brought into or found in the United States."

Will pirate trials become a niche industry in the U.S.? If so, my heart goes out to the court reporters. In my clerking days, I watched them struggle mightily with even lightly accented English. If they have to start transcribing phrases like "splicing the mainbrace," it could get real ugly.

Posted by Eric Lipman on April 22, 2010 at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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