Prosecuting Walter Palmer Under US Law

It is possible to prosecute Walter Palmer under American law. “Possible” is the operative word. It is far from certain but it does provide a nice alternative to an equally tricky process which is to extradite him to Zimbabwe to be tried there.

Protests against Palmer
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Protests against Palmer are ongoing

What can Walter Palmer be charged and prosecuted with? If it can be proved beyond reasonable doubt that Palmer bribed park officials in Zimbabwe he could be charged under the American statute Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA).

In this instance the sections concerning bribery of foreign officials may apply to the Walter Palmer case. These sections of the Act make it unlawful for an American to pay a foreign official with the intention of obtaining business with any person or directing business to any person.

“It shall be unlawful for any United States person to corruptly do any act outside the United States in furtherance of an offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of any money, or offer, gift, promise to give, or authorization of the giving anything of value to any of the persons or entities set forth…

(A)(i) influencing any act or decision of such foreign official in his official capacity, (ii) inducing such foreign official to do or omit to do any act in violation of the lawful duty of such official, or (iii) securing any improper advantage..”

Officials in the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Attorney’s Office are looking at a complaint from Betty McCollum, a Democrat congresswoman at Walter Palmer’s state of Minnesota.

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The complaint is being taken seriously. The congresswoman has requested that they examine whether Dr Palmer has contravened the above mentioned law and/or participated in the illegal hunting of a protected species.

Betty voiced the opinion of millions when she said:

β€œTo bait and kill a threatened animal, like this African lion, for sport cannot be called hunting, but rather a disgraceful display of callous cruelty,”

Newt

I am sure many have heard that the Palmer case goes beyond politics; both Democrats and Republicans are speaking up demanding that Palmer be punished if convicted under the law. There is real anger which we hope can be converted to a genuine will to see this through at the highest level and to prosecute this dentist who so callously participated in the killing of Zimbabwe’s most famous lion, Cecil.


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Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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5 Responses

  1. G.Harris says:

    What strange strange values you have and promote to the world. You’re all in an uproar about a lion being shot to death, but think nothing of the thousands of others of big-cats that you openly kill with all your free-roaming domesticated cats worldwide. Puma, Mountain-Lions, Endangered Florida Panthers, Ocelots, Cheetas, etc., etc.

    http : / / www . thenational . ae / news / uae-news / big-cat-owners-warned-to-keep-them-acres-away-from-feral-strays

    I bet you won’t even post this. You don’t want to be seen as the cat-loving hypocrites that you truly are, do you? No, we can’t have that. Even if it means that thousands of more native cats are going to die today because of what YOU do and willingly choose to do in life. πŸ™‚ Their deaths are worth it, aren’t they, just so you don’t have to tell anyone what you really do to all other cats on the planet.

    But that’s okay, everyone else can see you for what you truly are. We’re just waiting for you to admit it to yourself. πŸ™‚

    • Michael Broad says:

      Woody, you always look at information through the distorted lens of you biased mind. First, the article you refer to has no data. It is just a reporter stating the obvious namely that cats of any species can pass on infectious diseases to other cats. The same can said about humans to humans and from big cats to feral cats. It works in all ways. You ignore that. Secondly, you ignore the bigger issues namely that these rich Dubai people collect big cats as pets and treat them very badly. Many are malnourished and die prematurely and they are smuggled in to the country illegally in contravention of CITES. Wake up Woody and try and reprogram your sadly cracked mind.

      Finally, your comment is off-topic but I have been kind enough to publish it to shut you up.

  2. Dee (Florida) says:

    Am so hoping that his felony conviction for killing a bear in Wisconsin will work against him.

  3. Sandra Murphey, No. CA, USA says:

    I continue to search for and read related statements, some of which I find very thoughtful in describing the mind of the trophy hunter, the extreme outrage against this heinous act,the potential long range benefit of worldwide exposure, possible punishments, including Palmer getting off because of his wealth. Look at the cases of murderers who have been freed because of their ability to pay people off. I believe the truth of the saying “everyone has their price”.

    Even if he’s free, he will always be a hated man, subject to torment and even torture by those willing to inflict it, even at the cost of their own freedom.

    • Michael Broad says:

      I think in his case people won’t forget. The story is too big but often these stories fade away and become history and the perpetrator carries on as usual at the end of the day.

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