Words of Wisdom:

"Not to sound vage, but sometimes in life it is what it is." - BemTexcycle

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  • Date Submitted: 03/24/2013 05:35 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.2 
  • Words: 299
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1. Piracy is defined as the illegal act of robbery while on the high seas.  It is usually committed by private individuals who are not affiliated with any government.  Early pirates usually sought cargo, as well as, the prize of the ship they were attacking.  Today many pirates seek to kidnap the crews or passengers of ships for ransom money.  

2.  One of the most famous examples of piracy against the US was by Blackbeard.  He was an Englishman who took to pirating up and down the east coast of the US as well as the west Indies.  In the early 1700s he blockaded Charleston Harbor and held some citizens hostage until he received medical supplies for his crew.  A more recent example of piracy against the US was the hijacking by Somali pirates of the Maresk Alabama.  This large ship was taken over far off the coast of Somalia by a group of pirates in smaller boats.  

3. Because most piracy takes place in international waters, it is hard to pin down one set of rules on the criminals.  Because of this, international law has sought to give universal jurisdiction in order to prosecute pirates.  This basically gives a country like the US the freedom to prosecute pirates under their own laws if they are captured by the the Navy or Coast Guard.  This is regardless of the nationality of the pirate.

4.  The US Congress is granted the power to combat piracy by Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution.  The government is given the power to prosecute pirates and imprison them for life.  When the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama occurred in 2009, a navy ship came to the aid of the Maersk crew and eventually rescued the captain after SEAL snipers shot the pirates.

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