Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
UCLA Law Review

Crime and Governance in Indian Country
By Angela R. Riley

As discussed previously, when a non-Indian commits a crime against an Indian in Indian country—absent a unique statutory modification—the only sovereign with jurisdictional authority is the federal government. This means,for example, that every crime—even misdemeanors—committed by non-Indians against Indians or Indian property in Indian country can only be prosecuted by the federal government. But the federal government simply does not have the time, money, or incentives to investigate and prosecute most Indian country crimes. Testimony around TLOA even revealed that federal prosecutors have been “punished” internally for focusing too much on Indian country crimes. This has led to astonishingly high declination rates, even of serious crimes, leaving tribal communities frustrated and without faith in the criminal justice system.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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