Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

'Uncounseled' convictions a threat to Indians


The fairness of federal sentencing is an issue dividing many who care about justice in Indian country, not just my University of New Mexico law faculty colleagues Barbara Creel and Kevin Washburn (“Are feds too tough? Or is New Mexico too soft?” — Jan. 24).

The Supreme Court is now poised to address a key issue in the debate: whether a tribal court conviction that did not give the Indian defendant representation by a lawyer can be used to increase the sentence when the Indian is later prosecuted on a federal domestic assault charge.


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