Dickerson Oxton - July 2019

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Malls, Earrings, and Chelsea’s First Job A Tail of Bravery Live Free, Drive Safe How Much Homeowners Insurance Is Too Much? Take a Break Juicy Lucy Sliders A Bizarre Legal Loophole in Yellowstone

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Where to Get Away With Murder YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK’S ZONE OF DEATH

When people envision a trip to Yellowstone National Park, they probably think about buffalo or Old Faithful. Most people wouldn’t think about murder, but there’s a section of the park where getting away with murder could be possible. In 2005, Michigan

because the area is under Wyoming’s jurisdiction. But under Article 3, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, trials are meant to be held in the state in which the crime was committed. That means you would go back to Idaho for your trial. Additionally, under the Sixth Amendment, the jury at your trial should be comprised of people who live in the state and district where you committed the crime. However, finding a jury that fits this criteria would be problematic. Prosecutors would have to construct a jury out of people who live in that 50-square-mile section of Idaho that is under Wyoming’s jurisdiction — and nobody lives there. To deny you a trial by jury would be unconstitutional, but no jury can be constructed. In theory, since there’s no legal way to prosecute you, you would get off scot-free. To date, no one has taken any serious effort to fix these loopholes. At the same time, no one has reportedly tried to commit a crime in the Zone of Death since its discovery. While its existence may seem troubling, the region remains little more than a peculiarity.

State law professor Brian Kalt first pointed out the legal loopholes associated with the tiny section of Yellowstone Park in Idaho. This remote region is now known as the Zone of Death. So, how could it be theoretically possible to get away with murder in the Zone of Death? To begin, Wyoming District Court has jurisdiction over all of Yellowstone. This doesn’t seem strange, but there are small parts of Yellowstone that are also in Idaho and Montana, which means that the Wyoming District Court technically has jurisdiction in other states.

If you committed a crime in the Idaho section of Yellowstone, authorities would send you to Cheyenne, the capital of Wyoming,

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