United States v. Lara
United States v. Lara, 541 U.S. 193, was a United States Supreme Court landmark case which held that both the United States and a Native American tribe could prosecute an Indian for the same acts that constituted crimes in both jurisdictions. The case was decided on the basis of the Double Jeopardy Clause, which states that double jeopardy does not apply to cases brought by separate and distinct sovereign bodies.
About United States v. Lara in brief
United States v. Lara, 541 U.S. 193, was a United States Supreme Court landmark case which held that both the United States and a Native American tribe could prosecute an Indian for the same acts that constituted crimes in both jurisdictions. In 1990, the Supreme Court ruled in Duro v. Reina that an Indian tribe did not have jurisdiction to try an Indian of another tribe. In 1991, Congress amended the Indian Civil Rights Act to recognize that Indian tribes had inherent power to exercise criminal jurisdiction over all Indians. The case was decided on the basis of the Double Jeopardy Clause, which states that double jeopardy does not apply to cases brought by separate and distinct sovereign bodies. The Supreme Court held that the United states and the tribe were separate sovereigns; therefore, separate tribal and federal prosecutions did not violate the double jeopardy Clause. In the 1880s, Congress passed the Major Crimes Act, divesting tribes of criminal jurisdiction in regard to several felony crimes. The Act provided that the federal government had exclusive jurisdiction over certain Indian-on-Indian crimes when the crimes were committed in \”Indian country. \” In 1886, the Act was upheld by the Court in United States v Kagama. In 1989, the Court ruled that the Act had no effect on the jurisdiction of Indian tribes over non-member members of their tribes. The decision was appealed to the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which ruled in favor of the Indian tribes in the case. In 2010, the case was dismissed on constitutional grounds on the grounds of double jeopardy and other constitutional grounds.
The ruling was appealed again to the Supreme court in 2011. In 2012, the court ruled that federal and tribal prosecutions of non-members of the same tribe were not subject to the same double jeopardy clause. In 2013, the high court upheld the decision, and the appeal was dismissed again on the same grounds. In 2014, the federal court dismissed the federal charge of assault on a federal officer and moved to dismiss the tribal charge of violence to a policeman along with four other charges. In 2015, the appeals court ruled the federal charges against Lara were dismissed on other grounds, including that he was not a member of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe and that he had not committed a crime under the tribe’s law. The court also ruled that Lara was not guilty of assaulting the Bureau of Indian Affairs officer Bryon Bryon, who was considered both a tribal officer and a federal law enforcement officer. The trial was adjourned until the next hearing on November 14, 2015. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and Lara was sentenced to two years of probation. The verdict was later overturned on appeal, and he was released on a $10,000 fine. The defendant, Billy Jo Lara, was charged for acts that were criminal offenses under both the SpiritLake Sioux Tribe’s laws and the federal United States Code. Lara pleaded guilty to the tribal charges, but claimed double jeopardy against the federal Charges.