Given that a great many crimes such as murder are state crimes in the US, what jurisdiction deals with such crimes in Washington DC? i.e. if I were to murder someone there, who would come after me? The feds? The city? one of the surrounding states?
Probably these guys
DC has its own police force, but I imagine federal marshals might be involved if the action took place on Gov’t property.
There are close to two dozen different police forces in DC in addition to the local DC cops.
Park Police for park service land
Capitol Police for the capitol and neighborhood
Library of Congress for the you know what
Military Police for the military posts (navy, air force, marines, army)
Well that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. The local rag ran a story a few years ago about all the police forces (IIRC before 9/11). Most of the forces were for specific buildings or agencies. I remember the Library of Congress Police force for the obvious jokes.
Why worry about who’s coming after you? Claim it was a setup, and then run for Mayor. Don’t laugh-it worked before
Here’s the story . If you want to read the rest of it it’ll cost ya.
Nearly all crimes which are typically handled by state courts elsewhere (murder, rape, assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle crimes, etc.) are handled by the District of Columbia court system if they occur within D.C. In certain cases they are handled by the federal courts if they occur on federal government land, but that’s no different than the way it works the rest of the U.S., where certain crimes on federal land are handled by the federal courts. The fact that there are federal police forces guarding federal property in D.C. is irrelevant to the fact that nearly all standard “state” crimes are handled by the District of Columbia court system.
OK - further to my question, who makes the relevant laws (assuming of course that the deed is not committed on Federal property)? City hall?
I believe most laws were put in place by Congress. They were in charge of DC until 1973.
Laws enacted after Congress established home rule come from the Council of the District of Columbia.
“State-type” crimes occurring in the District of Columbia are prosecuted under the D.C. Code, which was indeed originally compiled by Congress. Since 1974 the District of Columbia Council, under home rule, has had the power to amend the code, but Congress reserves the authority to countermand their amendments.
Of course the District of Columbia courts are in a sense “federal courts”, since they were created under the authority of the United States Constitution. They were created either by Congress or by the D.C. Council under a grant of power from Congress–unlike state courts, which derive their authority from their respective state laws and constitutions. In terms of powers and jurisdiction, however, the D.C. courts are more similar to state courts elsewhere. A similar situation applies in all of the various federal commonwealths and territories.
There’s a police force for the Metrorail system. Unlike the other police forces in DC, these guys have authority in the VA and MD suburbs–provided they’re really close to a Metro station.