S. Hrg. 110-432: Discussion Draft Legislation to Address Law and Order in Indian Country, Hearing Before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Second Session, June 19, 2008   [open pdf - 197MB]

From the opening statement of Byron L. Dorgan: "Today the Committee is going to be holding a hearing to examine a draft bill to address law and order in Indian Country. Let me emphasize again this is draft legislation. […] Federal laws and court decisions established a system of justice that forces tribes to rely on the United States to investigate and prosecute violent reservation crimes. We took a two step approach. First, the U.S. limited what tribes can do to fight crime in their own communities. So tribal police have limited access to information and limited arrest powers. Tribal courts can sentence offenders to no more than one year in jail. So today we have tribal courts who sentence rapists and child molesters to one year in jail. That is not justice. Second, the United States said, we will do the job. More than 100 years ago, Congress established felony jurisdiction in the Department of Justice for crimes on reservations. With this authority, however, comes legal and binding obligations, in my judgment, to provide for public safety on reservation lands. Regrettably, I don't believe our Federal Government has met that obligation. The United States has conflicting law enforcement priorities to fight terrorism, protect the homeland and secure the border. Fighting crime in Indian Country does not top the priority list or even show up on the priority list in most cases." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Byron L. Dorgan, Lisa Murokowski, JonTester, W. Patrick Ragsdale, Daniel K. Akaka, John Barrasso, Ricahrd Burr, Maria Cantewell, Tim Johnson, John Thune, Joe Garcia, Ron His Horse Is Thunder, Walter E. Lamar, Kelly Gaines Stoner, Gretchen C. Shappert, Elbride Coochise, Floyd Jourdain, Jr., James S. Richardson, Sr., and Pete V. Domenici.

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S. Hrg. 110-432; Senate Hearing 110-432
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