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Genocide Convention Implementation Act of 1987

Genocide Convention Implementation Act of 1987


introduction Although the United States participated very actively in the preparation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, and signed the Convention at the time of its adoption, ratification by Congress would take four decades. The indefatigable proponent of ratification was Senator William Proxmire, who took the floor virtually every day for many years in his call for ratification. When the enabling legislation was finally adopted, in 1987, it was called the Proxmire Act in his honor. The legislation provides for the prosecution of genocide within United States law, and sets out the applicable penalties. It also provides detailed definitions of many of the terms that are used in the Convention.


United States Code

TITLE 18 — CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I — CRIMES

CHAPTER 50A — GENOCIDE

U.S. Code as of: 01/22/02 Section 1091. Genocide

  • (a) Basic Offense. Whoever, whether in time of peace or in time of war, in a circumstance described in subsection (d) and with the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group as such
    • (1) kills members of that group;
    • (2) causes serious bodily injury to members of that group;
    • (3) causes the permanent impairment of the mental faculties of members of the group through drugs, torture, or similar techniques;
    • (4) subjects the group to conditions of life that are intended to cause the physical destruction of the group in whole or in part;
    • (5) imposes measures intended to prevent births within the group; or
    • (6) transfers by force children of the group to another group;
  • or attempts to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection
  • (b) Punishment for Basic Offense. The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) is
    • (1) in the case of an offense under subsection
    • (2) a fine of not more than $1,000,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both, in any other case.
  • (c) Incitement Offense. Whoever in a circumstance described in subsection (d) directly and publicly incites another to violate subsection (a) shall be fined not more than $500,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
  • (d) Required Circumstance for Offenses. The circumstance referred to in subsections (a) and (c) is that
    • (1) the offense is committed within the United States; or
    • (2) the alleged offender is a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101)).
  • (e) Nonapplicability of Certain Limitations. Notwithstanding section 3282 of this title, in the case of an offense under subsection (a)(1), an indictment may be found, or information instituted, at any time without limitation.

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