The Genocide Convention
Implementation Act of 1987
This legislation is commonly known as "The Proxmire Act"
The Proxmire Act is contained in Chapter 50A of the US
law code, Title 18 (Crimes and Criminal Procedure), Part I
(Crimes). Section 1091 deals specifically with Genocide. The law implements the
United Nations' Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide (UNCG) in the U.S.
It states in part:
The act defines:
- religious group as meaning
"a set of individuals
whose identity as such is distinctive in terms of common
religious creed, beliefs, doctrines, practices, or rituals.
- incites as meaning to urge
"another to engage
imminently in conduct in circumstances under which there is
a substantial likelihood of imminently causing such conduct.
Subsection (d) states that the law applies whenever
"the offense is committed within
the United States"; or
"the alleged offender is a national
of the United States." Fines of up to 1 million dollars are
possible under this act. Imprisonment for life is possible in
the case of murder, or up to 20 years otherwise. There is no statute of
limitations for this law.
Application of the law:
To our knowledge, charges have never been laid under this law.
The law appears applicable to any attempted destruction of any
religious group, small or large. It could be argued that
physical assaults on members of a group with the intent of forcing them
to abandon their religion could be interpreted as a criminal act
which falls within this law. Such attacks on small
other Neo-Pagan groups, and other faith groups have occured from time to time in the United
States. We have read reports in which two conservative Christian clergy from
Texas independently allegedly advocated the genocide of Wiccans. There are a
number of individuals and groups who advocate the execution of individuals
who engage in homosexual behavior.
- "US code Collection,"
Legal Information Institute
of Cornell University, at: