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Posted: 5/11/2005 4:01:14 AM EDT
Cool!


Loophole may allow US crime spree
By Matthew Davis
BBC News, Washington

A loophole in US law may allow people to get away with any major crime within a 50-square mile "zone of death" in eastern Idaho, according to a Michigan law professor.


A small swathe of Idaho could be the venue for the perfect crime

This lawless oasis is said to exist on the edge of Yellowstone National Park because of a poorly drafted statute in the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution.

Criminals are entitled to be tried by a jury drawn from the state and legal district they committed their crime in, the constitution says.

But, argues Prof Brian C Kalt, while Yellowstone comes entirely under the district of Wyoming, small parts of it spill into the states of Montana and Idaho.

"Say that you are in the Idaho portion of Yellowstone and you decide to spice up your vacation by going on a crime spree," Kalt writes in a forthcoming paper for the Georgetown Law Journal.

"You make some moonshine, you poach some wildlife, you strangle some people and steal their picnic baskets.


The jury would have to be drawn from the Idaho portion of Yellowstone which, according to the 2000 Census has a population of precisely zero
Prof Brian C Kalt

"You are arrested, arraigned in the park and bound over for trial in Cheyenne, Wyoming, before a jury drawn from the Cheyenne area.

"But Article III [Section 2] plainly requires that the trial be held in Idaho, the state in which the crime was committed.

"Perhaps if you fuss convincingly enough about it the case would be sent to Idaho.

"But the Sixth Amendment then requires that the jury be from the state - Idaho - and the district - Wyoming - in which the crime was committed.

"In other words, the jury would have to be drawn from the Idaho portion of Yellowstone which, according to the 2000 Census has a population of precisely zero.

"Assuming that you do not feel like consenting to trial in Cheyenne, you should go free."

English loophole

No criminal defendant has ever broached the subject of the professor's loophole.

And there may be one or two holes, he admits.

It would be hard to limit your criminality to the specific area - meaning you could face conspiracy charges from the state you entered the park from.

Equally you could be charged with lesser offences that do not warrant a jury trial.

"The courts may or may not agree that my loophole exists," he says. "And in any case this essay is not intended to inspire anyone to go out and commit crimes.

"Crime is bad, after all. But so is violating the Constitution.

"If the loophole does exist it should be closed, not ignored."

Criminals have got away with murder before in England, the professor says, but not since 1548 when the law was changed.

Before then it often happened that a killer would strike in one county, but avoid punishment by ensuring the victim died across the county line, he says.

English juries could only consider crimes that occurred in their own county, so no jury could find the killer had committed all elements of murder.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4529829.stm
Link Posted: 5/11/2005 4:11:21 AM EDT
An interesting theory, give it a try and let us know how it turns out.
Link Posted: 5/11/2005 4:13:51 AM EDT
tag for future planning
Link Posted: 5/11/2005 4:13:55 AM EDT
Any volunteers wanna test this legal theory?

Nothing new here.....miles & miles of areas in urban ghettos were lawlessness is a way of life

Link Posted: 5/23/2005 4:40:23 PM EDT
Wouldn't you just be brought up on Federal charges anyway, since it is a national park?

Link Posted: 5/23/2005 4:48:09 PM EDT
Trial balloon. "Okay let's modify just this teeny-tiny part of the Bill of Rights, to close a loophole. Hmm, that worked, what other pesky loopholes can we amend?"
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 4:50:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 4:54:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2005 4:56:47 PM EDT by The_Macallan]

I read it a twice and I don't get it. If you commit a crime in Idaho, you would be tried before a jury of Idahoans.

What is a "legal district"? The 6th refers only to "district" which I assume means congressional district - which would be part of Idaho if within Idaho state borders, no?

What am I missing?


Link Posted: 5/23/2005 4:56:14 PM EDT
I'm gonna go there and piss in a politicians face.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 5:17:35 PM EDT
The britishers dont know to much about American justice do they? We could give a fuck! We just do what we wanna do and that is that! Remember when those cops in LA were found innocent? Oh well since they had a riot lets bring up new charges. What? Theres a boat in international water broadcasting into the US? (pirate radio ) Well lets send out the coast guard an grab'em anyway. What? there is no death penalty in your state? thats OK well just drag you to federal court to face the death penalty! What OJ is innocent? well get'em again in civil court.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 5:23:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 5:27:18 PM EDT

Crime spree against whom? Anyone here beside me read, "ZERO POPULATION!"


So, WHO are they going to rob?

The only thing I can see is a prefect spot to write about a fictional story about how the 2nd Amendment is destroyed and politicans are taken there for their punishment. No pig farms there right?

Other than that...

Go figure, no one would have realized it, until some communist/socialist "had" to pass a law against it. I'm pretty sure, if you commit a crime, you'll be put on trial some where. And this "loop hole" will not get you freed for murdering someone. This IS a National Park is it not?
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 5:31:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By lippo:
Crime spree against whom? Anyone here beside me read, "ZERO POPULATION!"


So, WHO are they going to rob?




Camping trip with unhappy wife to save on divorce costs?





Come to think of it, that could be a tourist draw.

Link Posted: 5/23/2005 5:33:43 PM EDT
Well, the Feds depopulated this area and made it an untouchable area.

What crime sprees can you imagine? Poaching, mining, using water without a permit, polluting the air, or just getting away from civilization like the mountain men used to.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 5:33:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By t-stox:
The britishers dont know to much about American justice do they? We could give a fuck! We just do what we wanna do and that is that! Remember when those cops in LA were found innocent? Oh well since they had a riot lets bring up new charges. What? Theres a boat in international water broadcasting into the US? (pirate radio ) Well lets send out the coast guard an grab'em anyway. What? there is no death penalty in your state? thats OK well just drag you to federal court to face the death penalty! What OJ is innocent? well get'em again in civil court.



are you really as stupid as your posts make you seem to be



All indications point to the answer being "Yes".
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 5:34:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By lippo:
Crime spree against whom? Anyone here beside me read, "ZERO POPULATION!"


So, WHO are they going to rob?




Camping trip with unhappy wife to save on divorce costs?





Come to think of it, that could be a tourist draw.





Oh, you are bad. You are very bad!
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 5:40:39 PM EDT
What are the rules regarding "change of venue"? Do they apply to the prosecution as well as the defendent? Does it only apply to a biased jury pool, or is there a loophole there that could make a judge decide to relocate any trial?
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 5:43:54 PM EDT


This is possible because of a conflict between a congressional law and the constitution. The constitution specifies that the jury has to be drawn from the state in which the crime was committed. Congress has specified that all crimes in Yellowstone park, which includes part of Idaho and Montana, be tried in Wyoming federal court. But the federal district in Wyoming can't form a jury; it can't pick anyone from Wyoming, and the area of its jurisdiction in Idaho has a population of zero.

The Yellowstone overlap in Montana is such that you can just barely form a jury of Montanans if you commit a crime there.

Unfortunately, there are no banks in the Idaho portion of Yellowstone to rob.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 5:47:26 PM EDT
BTW, this has more or less cropped up before. The panhandle area of Oklahoma was a "no man's land" for a time. Congress set the state boundaries such that the area that is now the Oklahoma Panhandle was in no state at all.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 6:03:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2005 6:06:48 PM EDT by IamtheNRA]
From FreeRepublic...



"The jury would have to be drawn from the Idaho portion of Yellowstone which, according to the 2000 Census has a population of precisely zero." - Prof Brian C Kalt
The Jury would be drawn from Idaho, or montana or new york. Its a federal crime on federal lands, which means the only jurisdictional unit that matters is the United States.

Federal criminals are often tried in places far from the crime scene.

I spoze the good Professor thinks that since D.C. is not in ANY state that you could have the Mayor smoking crack and still be in office.

Oh, wait a minute....





He seems to be under the misapprehension that Yellowstone has its own District Attorney, its own court system, its own judges. It does not. Yellowstone is a Federal enclave and the district that applies is the Federal District court for that area where the crime occurred. For example, if the crime occurred in the populationless area of Yellowstone that is in Idaho, the Federal District Court for Idaho would draw jurors from the entire state of Idaho and the case would be prosecuted by the US Attorney for the Idaho district.



There is, in reality, no loophole...the article is just more lefty America bashing...pay it no heed...
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