Is assassination an actual crime legally, or is it just charged as murder?

Given the interesting happenings at the White House earlier today, I was wondering what exactly they could charge the guy with. Assuming his ultimate goal was to kill the president, is that “just” attempted murder? Or is it something different, like attempted assassination, because of who the attempt was on?

Considering they stopped him well before he could point a gun at Dubya, they can’t even get him for attempting to murder the president. As for the bigger question, I think that federal law now provides for a separate crime for killing or attempting to kill the president or other federal officials. But it’s just another murder statute, basically.

FYI, Oswald violated only the Texas murder statute when he killed JFK. Hence the initial dispute over jurisdiction between the Dallas police and the FBI.

18 U.S.C. 1751: Presidential and Presidential staff assassination, kidnapping, and assault; penalties

I’d suspect you could try him for High Treason (or if he’s a foreigner, Espionage).

If he had intended to kill the president could you charge him with conspiracy to commit murder?

Murder is out, attempted murder is out, how about conspiracy? Or does that require accomplices?

Yes, conspiracy requires at least two people.

What if he’s schitzophrenic (sp?)? :D:D

Treason, IIRC (and please correct me, lawyers, if I’m wrong) is a charge that can only be applied during wartime.

Zev Steinhardt

Interestingly, though. that section links to the federal murder and manslaughter provisions…so, I guess that’s your answer.

I highly doubt that, considering what happened to the Rosenbergs.

The Rosenbergs were convicted of espionage, not treason.

Zev Steinhardt

When the CIA plotted and carried out blackops and wet work (assassinations of foreign leaders), was that a crime? Obviously it wasn’t a crime in their view, as they do not consider themselves subject to any law.

The CIA? Well that depends on whether it was before or after 1981. Executive Order 12333 from Dec. 4, 1981 includes the line:

(right after the section prohibiting human experimentation)

I’m not sure what the penalty would be, but I’m sure disobeying an Executive Order can’t be a good thing.

Besides, there’s no such thing as “High” Treason in the US – just Treason. IIRC because “High” treason meant that directly against the King.
The charge of treason is used VERY VERY sparingly (another carryover from the origin of the USA, since the FF’s felt the crown was too quick to play the treason card) and it has very specific definitions (heck, it even has one in the constitution itself); the main thrust being that the act of treason is one which endangers the very survival of the Republic, not just of the sitting government. That I know of, none of the various attempted magnicides in the US in the last century resulted in treason charges. Heck, the most I have heard members of domestic terrorist entities (Weathermen, FALN-PR, Klan) charged with in the absence of actual or attempted murder, has been “seditious conspiracy” or “attempting to overthrow the government.”

In any case, the gentleman outside the SW gate is exposed to being charged with various weapons violation – unauthorized carrying within DC city limits, brandishing a weapon in a public space (Now I’m not sure what I read: did he discharge his weapon? that’s another crime itself) --, reckless endangerment, threat, disorderly conduct, disregarding a police order to stop an illegal act; if at any point he pointed that handgun at anyone it’s assault, if he pointed it at Federal Protective Service or Park Police officers it’s (at least) assault against a federal agent; if he fired and the round chipped some paint there’s vandalizing a historic monument; and so on…