Jonathan Larrabee: Criminal prosecution violates treaty clause

"This is to correct a century-plus-long legal error that has been and continues to be perpetuated upon the Great Sioux Nation and all Indians alike. The lesson is that all treaties are specific unto themselves.

On page 20 of the November 30, 2011 issue of This Week From Indian Country Today, a feature article by Tristan Ahtone addressed “bad laws” and “overlapping jurisdiction” beginning with the now famous U.S. Supreme Court decision in Ex parte Crow Dog (1883). What is being misunderstood is that the U.S. Supreme Court did not release Crow Dog for lack of federal jurisdiction “over Indian-on-Indian crime in Indian country.” NO! It is clear the Supreme Court having closely examined the Sioux-specific Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) and the Sioux-specific Act of 1877 found that the federal courts lacked jurisdiction over Crow Dog for Sioux-on-Sioux crime in Sioux country. Crow Dog is a Sioux-specific case dealing with rights and protections of the Sioux treaty only. Sioux are the only people who can claim benefit from Crow Dog and their treaty and only if their case is Sioux on Sioux in Sioux country. This is why every time a non-Sioux Indian tries to avail themself of Crow Dog’s Sioux-specific rights they are denied by U.S. courts. What could be more clear? The Sioux have no more right to claim redress under (e.g.) the Cherokee-specific treaties than Cherokee to Sioux."

Get the Story:
Jonathan Larrabee: An American Indian Inmate’s Struggle for Freedom (Indian Country Today 10/5)

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