Murder for Hire Law and Legal Definition

Murder for hire is covered by a statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1958, enacted as part of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, Pub.L. 98-473, Ch. X, Part A (Oct. 12, 1984). Section 1958(a) provides:

Whoever travels in or causes another (including the intended victim) to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or uses or causes another (including the intended victim) to use the mail or any facility in interstate or foreign commerce, with intent that a murder be committed in violation of the laws of any State or the United States as consideration for the receipt of, or as consideration for a promise or agreement to pay anything of pecuniary value, or who conspires to do so [violates this statute].

The law makes it illegal to 1) travel or use facilities in interstate or foreign commerce; 2) with intent that a murder in violation of state or federal law be committed; 3) for money or other pecuniary compensation.

According to the legislative history, § 1958 was intended to apply to both the "hit man" and the contractor under the theory that the contractor causes the hit man to travel or use facilities in interstate commerce. S. Rep. 225 at 306.