Florida Governor Ron DeSantis And Kidnapping By Deception

After repeatedly threatening, in mostly joking tones, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis finally did it. To the glee of MAGA world he put 50 asylum seeking border crossers onto planes and flew them to the rich people’s party island retreat of Martha’s Vineyard. He did so without any notice or warning to anyone, except perhaps Fox News which was on hand to gleefully film it all. The isolated island’s residents generally responded well and humanely, scrambling to set up shelter and provide food and services for their sudden guests. The Republican Governor quickly activated a National Guard unit which helped move the people to a facility on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Scrambles To Provide Basic Services.

This controversial practice of “owning the libs” by moving migrants to places like Martha’s Vineyard, across from Nancy Pelosi’s home, etc, without notice or warning, is simply cruel to the people involved. Governor DeSantis, and others involved in the treatment of these people as political chattel defend it claiming they are “volunteers.” DeSantis claimed they all signed “waivers.”

However, the migrants involved and their advocates say this consent was achieved through deception. In the case of the Martha’s Vineyard story, the migrants claim they were told they were going to Boston. They were also told that jobs and housing would be waiting for them, an impossibility when no one at their destination was told in advance of their coming. The process seemed to mirror the “reverse freedom rides” of the 1960s when southern segregationists tricked black people into bus rides North with similar false promises.

Signing “waivers” does not mean much if the waivers were part of the deception process, or the signing of them was induced by deception. In the Martha’s Vineyard case an advocate for the migrants had a long list of accusations of how Florida lied to them to induce them onto the planes.

It’s now time to quote the Federal kidnapping statute at 18 U.S.C. § 1201:

Whoever unlawfully seizes, confines, inveigles, decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away and holds for ransom or reward or otherwise . . . when — the person is willfully transported in interstate or foreign commerce . . . shall be punished by imprisonment for any term of years or for life.

The statute goes on to impose the same penalty for conspiring to do the same.

The key word there is “inveigles.” Let’s take an example, the case of United States v. Hoog, 504 F.2d 45 (8th Cir. 1974). Mr. Hoog was a exceptionally evil man. He induced young women into his car on the promise to take them home, or (ahem) take them to his work where a job would be waiting for them. The women voluntarily got into his car. He would then take them somewhere other than where promised, to an isolated location, where he and an accomplice (named Mills) would rape them, before releasing them. Mr. Hoog challenged his kidnapping conviction on grounds the women voluntarily got into this car.

The United States Court of Appeals rejected his argument:

This argument is frivolous. Uncontradicted testimony of each victim discloses that either Mills or Hoog induced each of them to accept a ride by false representations. Once they had accepted a ride, Hoog or Mills lured or enticed each of them — again by false promises — to stay in the vehicle during its roundabout course into Kansas. The complaining witnesses were manifestly “inveigled” or “decoyed” into accepting rides within the plain meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a).

Watch the video above from the representatives of those flown to Martha’s Vineyard. If it is close to the truth, Governor DeSantis might be dancing dangerously close to kidnapping or conspiracy to do so charges.

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Keith

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80