Selected Offenses Against the Person and VICAR

Selected Offenses Against the Person and VICAR

(August 2020) The purpose of this primer is to provide a general overview of federal statutes, sentencing guideline issues, and case law relating to the sentencing of selected crimes against the person as well as Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (VICAR) offenses. As a preliminary matter, this primer discusses select statutes and guidelines for murder, assault, and kidnapping offenses. Given the similarity in conduct that can underlie these offenses, several of these guidelines share similar specific offense characteristics and case law that may be relevant across guidelines. This primer also discusses the statute and guideline for VICAR offenses. Because the VICAR guideline frequently calls for the application of the guideline for an underlying substantive offense (such as murder, assault, or kidnapping), its calculation requires understanding how to calculate the guidelines for those offenses as well. Finally, although this primer examines some of the issues and cases related to the sentencing of these offenses, it is not intended to be comprehensive or a substitute for independent research and primary authority.