9th Circuit reverses sentence for Indian defendant
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new sentencing hearing for an Indian defendant in Montana.

Philmore Necklace was sentenced to 20 months in prison for violating conditions of his supervised release. He said the punishment was out of the range of federal sentencing guidelines and would not have helped him rehabilitate.

In an unpublished opinion, the 9th Circuit agreed. The court said the defendant's "personal history in Native American society" should have been considered by the federal judge who imposed the sentence.

The 9th Circuit remanded the case and ordered it to be assigned to a new judge.

Necklace's tribal affiliation was not reported in the opinion. Necklace is a name found on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana.

9th Circuit Decision:
US v. Necklace (November 6, 2008)