the Intercage mess

Eric Brunner-Williams brunner at
Wed Sep 24 23:14:55 CDT 2008

Randy Bush wrote:
> John Bambenek wrote:
>> When there is no law to speak of all that is left is tribal justice. 
> this way lies lynch mobs
> shall we at least apply a vernier of civilization?
> randy
While I appreciate the points both you and John are attempting to make, 
as someone who is engaged in tribal government, and peripheral to the 
tribal legal community (I ran the TribalLaw list for years), I suggest 
there are rhetorical alternatives.

You may be amused that in Ex Parte Crow Dog, the USSC found in 1883 that 
it had no jurisdiction over the tribal court which tried, convicted, and 
sentenced Crow Dog for the killing of Spotted Tail. The sentence for 
that homicide (a political one in the context of factionalism during the 
onset of the Brule Sioux captivity) imposed by the tribal court was not 
death by hanging (payment was made to the tiospaye (kin) of the former, 
treaty signing principal chief). The following year Congress enacted the 
Major Crimes Act so that "an eye for an eye" would be the law in Indian 
Country. Note, not only did this extend Judeo-Christian reciprocity to 
offenses between tribal members, it also guaranteed death to any Indians 
who punished a "treaty signer" for providing the legal excuse for 
private and non-member expropriation of collectively held land.

More modernly, tribal courts seem to be better at substance abuse 
sentencing, based on outcomes, than non-tribal courts. I know some 
tribal jurists who'd be tickled pink to be asked to talk to a room of 
network people on tribal legal institutions and issues at Minneapolis.

I've been following this because of the trust anchor problem discussed 
elsewhere for address and AS allocation, and the NS and A record 
manifestation of some exploits that require sets of addresses, though 
not necessarily colocated within one or few address allocations or 
routed to one or few ASs, again, discussed elsewhere.


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