In Florida, the crime of kidnapping can be committed in four different ways.
"The term 'kidnapping' means forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority, with intent to:
1. Hold for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage.
2. Commit or facilitate commission of any felony.
3. Inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person.
4. Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function."
In the case of Conner v. State of Florida, Florida's Second District Court of Appeal stated that if a person is accused of kidnapping by means of method number 2 "the resulting movement or confinement:
(a) Must not be slight, inconsequential and merely incidental to the other crime;
(b) Must not be of the kind inherent in the nature of the other crime; and
(c) Must have some significance independent of the other crime in that it makes the other crime substantially easier of commission or substantially lessens the risk of detection."
The Conner Court then gave the following three examples of when an action constitutes kidnapping and when it does not using these criteria:
1. "A standstill robbery on the street is not a kidnapping; the forced removal of the victim to a dark alley for robbery is."
2. "The removal of a rape victim from room to room within a dwelling solely for the convenience and comfort of the rapist is not a kidnapping; the removal from a public place to a place of seclusion is."
3. "The forced direction of a store clerk to cross the store to open a cash register is not a kidnapping; locking him in a cooler to facilitate escape is."
Several cases in Florida have been overturned on appeal where people were wrongfully convicted of kidnapping because their actions did not meet the three criteria listed above. I will look at some of those cases in my next few articles.