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Jurisdiction On Reservations

July 8, 2004, 9:46 PM by Annie Chicoine

According to a background check, Marshall Fox's long history of crimes doesn't include any dealings with tribal police or the BIA...until this case.

At first, tribal police on the standing rock reservation refused to recognize the out-of-state warrant for Fox's arrest. Then the feds got involved and issued their own arrest warrant.

South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long says, "In a criminal case the state, the tribe, and the federal government share responsibility for criminal cases. The major crimes committed in Indian country are the responsibility of the United states of America if either the victim or perpetrator is an American Indian."

That's why the federal government was able to take control of the situation.

But in a case where both parties are indian and it's not a major crime, the responsibility falls solely on the tribal government.

Long says a state warrant may be valid on a reservation, but it depends on who the warrant is for and where the crime took place.

He also says it depends of the tribe.

Long says, "There are nine tribes in South Dakota. Each tribe has a slightly different view of the level of cooperation between the state and the tribes. There are a couple of tribes who have very high levels between state and tribe and there are a couple who don't."

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