What is the Law on Kidnapping/Abduction in Wyoming and What are the Punishments for it?
Kidnapping is a composite crime. It occurs when a person uses either force or weapons to restrain an individual, and when the individual is transported against their consent. The physical seizing of a person from his or her home by methods of fraud, coercion, force, physical or otherwise amounts to kidnapping. It also includes the detention, seizing, and confining of another individual against their will. Kidnapping is composed of two or more crimes that are treated as a single, indivisible crime.
Most kidnapping charges are dealt with at the state level. However, kidnapping becomes a federal crime once the victim is transported through state lines.
Various types of kidnapping and human trafficking have resulted in the creation of legal agencies and protocols dedicated to the handling of abduction/kidnapping cases throughout the USA.
203,000 children are kidnapped every year in the United States. Different states place different emphasis on the duration and purpose of a purported kidnapping.
What are the Elements of Kidnapping?
A kidnapping charge can be levied if the following conditions are met:
- If an individual unlawfully takes a victim from his or her vicinity
- If an individual holds an individual for nefarious reasons such as for the purpose of obtaining a ransom or reward in exchange for the freedom of the restrained party.
Intent plays a large role in kidnapping/abduction charges.
What do Wyoming’s Statutes have to say About abduction/Kidnapping?
Under Wyoming’s code of law, statutes 6-2-201 declares that a person commits the crime of kidnapping when unlawfully removing an individual from their residence/business/vicinity at the time of removal and unlawfully confines the same individual with the intent to:
- Release individual in exchange for ransom
- Use individual as hostage or shield
- Use individual to facilitate or commission a felony
- Inflict bodily harm upon individual
- Terrorize individual or another individual
What are the Types of Kidnapping?
There are three main types of kidnapping used by criminal organizations and terrorist factions throughout the world. Awareness of the methods in the public’s mind can aid in its prevention, cessation and make the world a safer place:
- Tiger kidnapping:
A form of kidnapping wherein a captor seizes an individual or possession of high value and demands a crime be committed in exchange for the freedom and release of said individual or possession.
- Express kidnapping:
A form of kidnapping where the offender restrains an individual and demands financial compensation in exchange for freedom. The perpetrators usually force victims to withdraw money from ATMs under threat of dangerous weapons or force in this scenario.
- Bride kidnapping:
A form of kidnapping where a bride is abducted against the will of her parents even in situations where a consensual agreement exists between the abductor and abductee.
What are the Degrees of Kidnapping?
The degrees of kidnapping differ by state to state and are based on the severity of harm dealt with the victim while under the transportation, detainment or coercion in a kidnapping.
In the event the victim was not safely released and suffers injuries or sexual assault, the kidnapping is classified in the first degree.
In the event, the victim was released in a safe place and is reasonably and substantially free of harm, and injury and sexual assault, the kidnapping is classified in the second degree.
Federal kidnapping laws, also known under the Lindbergh Law, grant sentences based on the following factors:
- Whether the victim suffers harm during the kidnapping
- Whether a dangerous firearm was used during the kidnapping
What are the punishments for Kidnapping Under the Laws of Wyoming?
The punishments for kidnapping and abduction in the state of Wyoming are as follows:
Kidnapping with safe release:
1. Offenders shall receive imprisonment limited to 20 years if and only if the victim is released unharmed and in a safe place prior to trial.
Kidnapping without return of victim:
1. Offenders shall receive imprisonment no less than 20 years or for life.
2. Kidnapping a child under 16 years of age:
3. In the event said kidnapping leads to the murder of the 16-year-old victim, offenders are guilty of murder in the first degree.
The punishment for murder in the first degree is capital punishment, or life imprisonment without parole, or life imprisonment with parole.