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Judges' Guide to Criminal Parental Kidnapping Cases

NCJ Number
Juvenile and Family Court Journal Volume: 48 Issue: 2 Dated: (Spring 1997)
E J Klain
Date Published
190 pages
This guide, designed to be a resource for criminal judges who preside over parental kidnapping cases, addresses effects of child kidnapping by parents, issues relevant to the judicial process, and emphasizes the importance of securing the well-being of children while protecting parental rights.
The first chapter presents an overview of parental kidnapping, with emphasis on the definition of parental kidnapping, the nature and scope of parental kidnapping, the impact of kidnapping on the child and the left-behind parent, motivations of abducting parents, family violence, the legal context of parental kidnapping, policy and practice considerations for judges, and the coordination of criminal and civil proceedings. The second chapter covers pretrial and trial issues, such as case evaluation, aggravating circumstances, agent or accomplice liability, defenses, jurisdiction and venue considerations, statutes of limitation, conflict of laws, double jeopardy, discovery requests, pretrial motions, jury selection and instructions, and evidentiary issues. The third chapter deals with sentencing issues and includes a discussion of sentencing options, factors that influence sentencing, and release pending appeal. Appendixes contain statutes governing the parental kidnapping of children, including the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act; National Incidence Studies on Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children in America; and sample jury instructions. References and footnotes