18 U.S. Code § 241 - Conspiracy against rights

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If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Source

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 696; Pub. L. 90–284, title I, § 103(a),Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 75; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7018(a), (b)(1),Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60006(a), title XXXII, §§ 320103(a), 320201(a), title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L),Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1970, 2109, 2113, 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §§ 604(b)(14)(A), 607 (a),Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507, 3511.)
Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., § 51 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, § 19,35 Stat. 1092).
Clause making conspirator ineligible to hold office was omitted as incongruous because it attaches ineligibility to hold office to a person who may be a private citizen and who was convicted of conspiracy to violate a specific statute. There seems to be no reason for imposing such a penalty in the case of one individual crime, in view of the fact that other crimes do not carry such a severe consequence. The experience of the Department of Justice is that this unusual penalty has been an obstacle to successful prosecutions for violations of the act.
Mandatory punishment provision was rephrased in the alternative.
Minor changes in phraseology were made.
Amendments

1996—Pub. L. 104–294, § 607(a), substituted “any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District” for “any State, Territory, or District” in first par.
Pub. L. 104–294, § 604(b)(14)(A), repealed Pub. L. 103–322, § 320103(a)(1). See 1994 Amendment note below.
1994—Pub. L. 103–322, § 330016(1)(L), substituted “They shall be fined under this title” for “They shall be fined not more than $10,000” in third par.
Pub. L. 103–322, § 320201(a), substituted “person in any State” for “inhabitant of any State” in first par.
Pub. L. 103–322, § 320103(a)(2)–(4), in third par., substituted “results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both” for “results, they shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life”.
Pub. L. 103–322, § 320103(a)(1), which provided for amendment identical to Pub. L. 103–322, § 330016(1)(L), above, was repealed by Pub. L. 104–294, § 604(b)(14)(A).
Pub. L. 103–322, § 60006(a), substituted “, or may be sentenced to death.” for period at end of third par.
1988—Pub. L. 100–690struck out “of citizens” after “rights” in section catchline and substituted “inhabitant of any State, Territory, or District” for “citizen” in text.
1968—Pub. L. 90–284increased limitation on fines from $5,000 to $10,000 and provided for imprisonment for any term of years or for life when death results.
Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by section 604(b)(14)(A) ofPub. L. 104–294effective Sept. 13, 1994, see section 604(d) ofPub. L. 104–294, set out as a note under section 13 of this title.
Short Title of 1996 Amendment

Pub. L. 104–155, § 1,July 3, 1996, 110 Stat. 1392, provided that: “This Act [amending section 247 of this title and section 10602 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, enacting provisions set out as a note under section 247 of this title, and amending provisions set out as a note under section 534 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] may be cited as the ‘Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996’.”

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