Law
US Attorney in Montana seeks more crime data
Bill Mercer, the outgoing U.S. Attorney for Montana, is seeking more data about crime in Indian Country.

Mercer said he was surprised by a significant increase in crime on six reservations in the state. According to his office, the number of incidents increased from 18,081 in 2004, to 26,231 in 2005, to 64,243 in 2006 and to 51,794 in 2007.

Yet the office only prosecuted six burglary cases last year even though around 400 were reported in 2006 and in 2007. So Mercer has asked tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs authorities to give him more information about crime on reservations.

"If I don't get those reports, there's no way I can prosecute those cases, Mercer told The Great Falls Tribune.

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration, opposes a provision in the S.797, the Tribal Law and Order Act, that requires the Department of Justice to report on the number of crimes it declines to prosecute in Indian Country.

Get the Story:
Policing Indian Country in Montana remains jurisdictional quagmire (The Great Falls Tribune 7/12)
Blackfeet jurisdiction serious problem (The Great Falls Tribune 7/12)
Legislator: Complex mix of jurisdictions on Rocky Boy's may cause 'lack of effort' (The Great Falls Tribune 7/12)

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Witness list for hearing on Law and Order Act (6/24)
In The Hoop: Uhh, good luck with that testimony... (6/24)
Senate Indian Affairs hearing on Law and Order (6/22)
Indian Affairs hearing on Law and Order Act (6/18)
Tribal law and order bill introduced in Senate (4/6)

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