Today's Date: Add To Favorites
Supreme Court rules against Navajo Nation member
Law Center | 2022/06/13
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Native Americans prosecuted in certain tribal courts can also be prosecuted based on the same incident in federal court, which can result in longer sentences.

The 6-3 ruling is in keeping with an earlier ruling from the 1970s that said the same about a more widely used type of tribal court.

The case before the justices involved a Navajo Nation member, Merle Denezpi, accused of rape. He served nearly five months in jail after being charged with assault and battery in what is called a Court of Indian Offenses, a court that deals exclusively with alleged Native American offenders.

Under federal law Courts of Indian Offenses can only impose sentences of generally up to a year. The man was later prosecuted in federal court and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He said the Constitution’s “Double Jeopardy” clause should have barred the second prosecution.

But the justices disagreed.

“Denezpi’s single act led to separate prosecutions for violations of a tribal ordinance and a federal statute. Because the Tribe and the Federal Government are distinct sovereigns, those” offenses are not the same, Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote for a majority of the court. “Denezpi’s second prosecution therefore did not offend the Double Jeopardy Clause.”

The Biden administration had argued for that result as had several states, which said barring federal prosecutions in similar cases could allow defendants to escape harsh sentences.

The case before the justices involves a tribal court system that has become increasingly rare over the last century. Courts of Indian Offenses were created in the late 1800s during a period when the federal government’s policy toward Native Americans was to encourage assimilation. Prosecutors are federal officers answerable to federal authorities, not tribal authorities.

Federal policy toward Native Americans shifted in the mid-1930s, however, to emphasize a greater respect for tribes’ native ways. As part of that, the government has encouraged tribes to create their own tribal courts, and the number of Courts of Indian Offenses has steadily decreased. Today there are five regional Courts of Indian Offenses that serve 16 tribes in Colorado, Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. They are generally tribes with a small number of members or limited resources. Nationwide there are more than 570 federally recognized tribes.

The court said in 1978 that the Double Jeopardy clause did not bar the federal government from prosecuting a Native person in federal court after a tribal court prosecution, so the only question for the court this time was whether the rule should be different for Courts of Indian Offenses.

In July 2017, Denezpi traveled with a female member of the Navajo Nation to Towaoc, Colorado, which is a part of the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. While there, Denezpi raped the woman.

Denezpi was first charged in a Court of Indian Offenses with assault and battery, among other things. He eventually agreed to a so-called Alford plea in the case, not admitting guilt but acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence that he would likely be convicted at trial. He was sentenced to time served, 140 days in jail. His prosecution in federal court followed.


[PREV] [1][2][3][4][5][6][7].. [8083] [NEXT]
All
Class Action
Bankruptcy
Biotech
Breaking Legal News
Business
Corporate Governance
Court Watch
Criminal Law
Health Care
Human Rights
Insurance
Intellectual Property
Labor & Employment
Law Center
Law Promo News
Legal Business
Legal Marketing
Litigation
Medical Malpractice
Mergers & Acquisitions
Political and Legal
Politics
Practice Focuses
Securities
Elite Lawyers
Tax
Featured Law Firms
Tort Reform
Venture Business News
World Business News
Law Firm News
Attorneys in the News
Events and Seminars
Environmental
Legal Careers News
Patent Law
Consumer Rights
International
Legal Spotlight
Current Cases
State Class Actions
Federal Class Actions
States brace for fight over ..
Construction to begin on roa..
Supreme Court rules against ..
Wisconsin Supreme Court says..
Man denies kidnapping charge..
German federal court mulls b..
Pakistani court orders probe..
Kansas Supreme Court upholds..
California governor backs pl..
California Democratic suprem..
Tennessee, South Carolina ex..
Connecticut Senate OKs bill ..
Supreme Court Notebook: Robe..
Arizona judge nixes suit tha..
Suit seeks to overturn renew..


Class action or a representative action is a form of lawsuit in which a large group of people collectively bring a claim to court and/or in which a class of defendants is being sued. This form of collective lawsuit originated in the United States and is still predominantly a U.S. phenomenon, at least the U.S. variant of it. In the United States federal courts, class actions are governed by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule. Since 1938, many states have adopted rules similar to the FRCP. However, some states like California have civil procedure systems which deviate significantly from the federal rules; the California Codes provide for four separate types of class actions. As a result, there are two separate treatises devoted solely to the complex topic of California class actions. Some states, such as Virginia, do not provide for any class actions, while others, such as New York, limit the types of claims that may be brought as class actions. They can construct your law firm a brand new website, lawyer website templates and help you redesign your existing law firm site to secure your place in the internet.
St. Louis Missouri Criminal Defense Lawyer
St. Charles DUI Attorney
www.lynchlawonline.com
Eugene Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy Attorney Eugene
willamettevalleybankruptcy.com
Lorain Elyria Divorce Lawyer
www.loraindivorceattorney.com
Chicago bankruptcy attorneys
credit card debt lawyer
bankruptcylawchicago.com
Connecticut Special Education Lawyer
www.fortelawgroup.com
  Law Firm Directory
 
 
 
© ClassActionTimes.com. All rights reserved.

The content contained on the web site has been prepared by Class Action Times as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance. Affordable Law Firm Website Design