18 U.S. Code § 2191 - Cruelty to seamen

prev | next

Whoever, being the master or officer of a vessel of the United States, on the high seas, or on any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States, flogs, beats, wounds, or without justifiable cause, imprisons any of the crew of such vessel, or withholds from them suitable food and nourishment, or inflicts upon them any corporal or other cruel and unusual punishment, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 800; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 601(a)(8), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3498.)
Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., § 482 and section 712 of title 46, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Shipping (Dec. 21, 1898, ch. 28, § 22, 30 Stat. 761; Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, § 291, 35 Stat. 1145).

Section consolidates section 482 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., and the following language from section 712 of title 46, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Shipping, prohibiting flogging and corporal punishment: “and any master or other officer thereof who shall violate the aforesaid provisions of this section, or either thereof, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than two years.” That language was the basis for the addition of the word “flogs” and the words “any corporal or other” for the word “any.” The punishment imposed by section 482 was adopted as that was the later statute as incorporated in 1909 Criminal Code.

Words “shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor,” contained in said section 712 of title 46, were omitted in view of definitive section 1 of this title.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Editorial Notes

1996—Pub. L. 104–294 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000”.

The following state regulations pages link to this page.