18 USC Sec. 1203 01/05/2009
TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 55 - KIDNAPPING
Sec. 1203. Hostage taking
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section,
whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, seizes or
detains and threatens to kill, to injure, or to continue to detain
another person in order to compel a third person or a governmental
organization to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or
implicit condition for the release of the person detained, or
attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished by imprisonment
for any term of years or for life and, if the death of any person
results, shall be punished by death or life imprisonment.
(b)(1) It is not an offense under this section if the conduct
required for the offense occurred outside the United States unless -
(A) the offender or the person seized or detained is a national
of the United States;
(B) the offender is found in the United States; or
(C) the governmental organization sought to be compelled is the
Government of the United States.
(2) It is not an offense under this section if the conduct
required for the offense occurred inside the United States, each
alleged offender and each person seized or detained are nationals
of the United States, and each alleged offender is found in the
United States, unless the governmental organization sought to be
compelled is the Government of the United States.
(c) As used in this section, the term "national of the United
States" has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(22) of
the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22)).
(Added Pub. L. 98-473, title II, Sec. 2002(a), Oct. 12, 1984, 98
Stat. 2186; amended Pub. L. 100-690, title VII, Sec. 7028, Nov. 18,
1988, 102 Stat. 4397; Pub. L. 103-322, title VI, Sec. 60003(a)(10),
Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1969; Pub. L. 104-132, title VII, Sec.
723(a)(1), Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1300.)
1996 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104-132 inserted "or conspires" after
1994 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103-322 inserted before period at end
"and, if the death of any person results, shall be punished by
death or life imprisonment".
1988 - Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 100-690 substituted "(c) As" for "(C)
Section 2003 of part A (Secs. 2001-2003) of chapter XX of title
II of Pub. L. 98-473 provided that: "This part and the amendments
made by this part [enacting this section and provisions set out as
a note under section 1201 of this title] shall take effect on the
later of -
"(1) the date of the enactment of this joint resolution [Oct.
12, 1984]; or
"(2) the date the International Convention Against the Taking
of Hostages has come into force and the United States has become
a party to that convention [the convention entered into force
June 6, 1983; and entered into force for the United States Jan.