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1) n. money paid to a kidnapper in demand for the release of the person abducted. Ransom money can also be paid to return a valuable object such as a stolen painting. 2) v. to pay money to an abductor to return the person held captive. (See: kidnapping, abduction)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

RANSOM, contracts, war. An agreement made between the commander of a capturing vessel with the commander of a vanquished vessel, at sea, by which the former permits the latter to depart with his vessel, and gives him a safe conduct, in consideration of a sum of money, which the commander of the vanquished vessel, in his own name, and in the name of the owners of his vessel and cargo, promises to pay at a future time named, to the other.
     2. This contract is usually made in writing in duplicate, one of which is kept by the vanquished vessel which is its safe conduct; and the other by the conquering vessel, which is properly called ransom bill.
     3. This contract, when made in good faith, and not locally prohibited, is valid, and may be enforced. Such contracts have never been prohibited in this country. 1 Kent, Com. 105. In England they are generally forbidden. Chit. Law of Nat. 90 91; Poth. Tr. du Dr. de Propr. n. 127. Vide 2 Bro. Civ. Law, 260; Wesk. 435; 7 Com. Dig. 201; Marsh. Ins. 431; 2 Dall. 15; 15 John. 6; 3 Burr. 1734. The money paid for the redemption of such property is also called the ransom.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Ishaq, 65, was kidnapped from the Frere area on Aug 6 and the suspect demanded a Rs300,000 ransom. The suspects took him to different parts of Sindh and made phone calls to his family for ransom.
Under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of kidnapping for ransom is committed when a person is deprived, in any manner, of his liberty for the purpose of extorting money, price or consideration from him or from any other person in exchange for his release.
Lake City chose to pay the ransom of 42 bitcoins, or approximately $460,000.
Abbottabad -- Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) Abbottabad Friday here awarded death sentence to two convicts against the accusation of kidnapping for ransom and murder of three years old girl Marwa Faizan.
The police traced the kidnappers when they called for ransom and arrested two suspects Hassan and Tauseef.
ABBOTTABAD -- Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) Abbottabad Friday here convicted two accused and awarded them death sentence on two counts each in kidnapping for ransom and later murder of three years old girl MarwaFaizan.
Rawalpindi -- The Police on Friday claimed to have recovered a 45-year-old woman who was kidnapped for ransom from Chaklala Scheme-III and arrested an alleged abductor.
Louis Circuit Court's presiding judge, Robin Ransom is getting a promotion.
GUJRANWALA -- A 7th class student who was kidnapped for ransom a month back in Gujranwala has been murdered.
Extortion and kidnap for ransom are extreme and endemic risks for individuals and businesses operating in many countries around the world, said Brit, noting that privileged sources and anecdotal evidence show there are about 30,000 incidents of kidnap for ransom each year, with about 1,000 of these involving foreign nationals.
FIVE abducted members of the African Democratic Congress, (ADC) in Ondo state, including the Senatorial candidate for the Ondo North senatorial district, Hon Jide Ipinsagba, on Saturday regained their freedom after payment of N15m ransom.