“When a riot occurs in prison, the inmates sometimes seize a guard or other prison employee and hold that person during the period of the riot. Not all the inmates will directly participate in seizing or holding the guard, even if they otherwise participate in the riot. When the riot is quelled, what charges can be brought against the inmates? What should the government have to prove to convict an inmate of these charges? See Comm. v. Spearin, 846 N.E.2d 390 (Mass. 2006).”
Review the posts of your fellow learners and respond to at least two. In your response posts, you must do one or more of the following:
Going off of just this basic information alone the main charge they could bring against the prisoners would be hostage taking. This would only apply to those directly involved with the hostage taking at any point in the process. Hostage taking is termed as the detention or restraint of a person with the intent to use them as a bargaining chip in order to get a third party to meet demands (Gardner & Anderson, 2016). Commonwealth v. Spearin was a similar case involving a prison riot and a captured guard. The government must first prove the defendant was a prisoner at facility the riot was held. They must also prove the hostage taken was in fact a correctional officer or facility employee. The Federal Hostage Taking Act defines a hostage as anyone detained or threatened with death or injury by a second party in order to get a third party to meet demands or not take certain actions. This means the government must also prove the correctional officer was held captive under these circumstances (Commonwealth v Spearin, 2006).
William E. King was indicted on 22 counts of first-degree kidnapping, in violation of § 13A-6-43, Code of Alabama 1975 (King v. State 1991). This brought about due to a prison riot that took place on April 15, 1985. King was charged with a lessor charge of kidnapping in the second-degree, but due to being a habitual offender, he was sentenced to life in prison and it was ruled that each sentence would run concurrently (King v. State 1991).
Much like the case mentioned above, I believe that kidnapping is a major charge that should be ensued when a prison riot takes place. While a large amount of inmates will participate during a prison riot, there are some that choose to stay away from the actions taking place. Therefore, the person or persons responsible for enticing the riot, should then be charged with kidnapping of said inmates. What I find interesting is according to Alabama Code Title 13A. Criminal Code § 13A-11-3, enticing a riot is only a Class A misdemeanor! I believe the charge should be much steeper, especially if prison staff or other inmates are injured during the riot.