Justices Concerned BIA Courts Pose Double Jeopardy Issues

By Jimmy Hoover (February 22, 2022, 4:55 PM EST) -- Members of the U.S. Supreme Court expressed concerns Tuesday that special Bureau of Indian Affairs courts may pose double jeopardy concerns if federal prosecutors can simply use them as a "dress rehearsal" or "dry run" for subsequent prosecutions in federal courts.

During oral arguments, several justices appeared somewhat sympathetic to a Navajo man's claims that his right against double jeopardy was violated when he was convicted in federal court of the same crime he was previously charged with at a BIA Court of Indian Offenses.

These CFR courts, as they're also known, are designed to allow tribes lacking their own adequate...

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