Opinion: Serious crimes going unpunished on reservations

"A recently released report by the U.S. Department of Justice has revealed that a staggering proportion of serious crimes have been ignored on the 310 Indian reservations scattered throughout the U.S. β€” and the Justice Department holds much of the blame. In a post-Civil Rights Movement world, where all individuals supposedly have equal access to courts and are subject to the rule of law, the Federal Government must make drastic changes to bridge the gap in justice for Native Americans.

On the majority of Indian reservations, felons are only allowed to be prosecuted by U.S. attorneys of the federal government. The law behind this provision, the Major Crimes Act of 1885, was originally intended to fill a judicial need on Indian reservations where tribal courts, tribal police, and tribal prisons did not have the capacity and resources to prosecute such heinous crimes. However, what was once intended to protect and support Native Americans has instead led to an increasing crime rate on reservations, relative to the rest of the country."

Get the Story:
Adeline Lambert: Do Indian Reservations Lack Equal Justice? (Policymic February 2012)

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