Citation[edit | edit source]

Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Pub. L. No. 91-452, 84 Stat. 922 (Oct. 15, 1970).

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Act strengthened the ability of the federal government to combat and prosecute criminal organizations. It provided for Special Grand Juries to investigate multi-jurisdictional organized crime; these grand juries are able to produce reports outlining public corruption and organized crime conditions in their respective districts.

The Act also allowed for witnesses of organized crime to be granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony. Further, it authorized security for government witnesses or potential witnesses in organized crime cases. This measure laid the groundwork for the Witness Security Program (WITSEC).[1] The WITSEC program allows for the protection and relocation of witnesses and their families, whose lives may be in danger as a result of their testimony in organized and other major crime cases.

Title IX of the Act is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act[2], commonly referred to as the "RICO" statute. The purpose of the RICO statute is "the elimination of the infiltration of organized crime and racketeering into legitimate organizations operating in interstate commerce." [3] However, the statute is sufficiently broad to encompass illegal activities relating to any enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 18 U.S.C. §3521. Although the foundation for the Witness Security Program was authorized by the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, the program was established under Part F of Chapter XII of Pub. L. No. 98-473.
  2. 18 U.S.C. §§1961-68).
  3. S.Rep. No. 617, 91st Cong., 1st Sess. 76 (1969).
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