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Where does the Department of Justice get the authority (power)

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Where does the Department of Justice get the authority (power) to enforce its criminal laws outside the territory and property belonging to the U.S., when the crime occurs within state boundaries? Refer to Rule 54c and Article 3, Section 2, Clause 3?
Is this a homework question, please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If only... No, my father is currently incarcerated in a Federal facility and is asking this question through me. Is there something ambiguous that you need clarified prior to responding?


My name isXXXXX'm a licensed attorney. Glad to try and help out.

Sure sorry for your circumstances, truly. My heart goes out to your father.

I apologize for any confusion. Sometimes we receive a question from a student, and I thought that might be the case when you mentioned to refer to the citations you mentioned. In other words, I thought you might be wanting a paper drafted using those citations. In any event, sorry about that and please just ignore my question.

Alright, here is how this works.

For the jurisdictional bases, or put differently the legal authority or power, please check out the following provision (just click the link):

28 U.S.C. § 533(1) and (3)

The bases are two-fold, namely to: (1) "detect and prosecute crimes against the United States."; and (2) "conduct such other investigations regarding official matters under the control of the Department of Justice and the Department of State as may be directed by the Attorney General."

Now, in the civil rights context, there is certainly more involvement on a state basis. However, for a criminal matter such as you have described occurring solely within the borders on one state, ordinarily there would be no basis for federal jurisdiction. There can be a surprising amount of nuances, such as with the United States Constitution Interstate Commerce Clause. However, nothing related in the scenario you presented trigger any basis for federal jurisdiction.

If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.

I hope all works out for both of you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your kind words - I guess I'm still a bit sensitive to this whole scenario, even after 6 years with 6 to go. I appreciate your help.


Well, from what I know, the three states involved gave up their rights to him so he could be tried Federally, so now he's reading up on PL80-772 and H.R. 3190, attempting to throw fuel on that hell-fire, in addition to filing Habeas Corpus writs, wrongful imprisonment suits, etc... He's become quite the advocate. Is there anything else you can think of that I should be looking at? I almost hate to ask - I feel like I got my $40 worth already... :O)

Hi there,
You are so pleasure entirely!
Thanks for taking the time to let me know my answers have been helpful. Your kind words made my day :-)
I don't have a ton more to add, frankly, other than to say your dad is fortunate to have you in his corner and I mean every word of the remark).
I used to actually work in the field of corrections, and wow do I have respect for some of those "jail house lawyers". Some of them really know their way around a law library and can draft a very respectable brief. I like your description of slinging everything he can and throwing fuel on the fire. Truthfully, that's often the way it works, and I say go for it and see what "sticks" in terms of getting attention.

It should all be taken with a healthy grain of salt, but your dad might find this to be of interest (especially made me think of it given the statutes he mentions through you):

Hang in there,

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