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NCJ Number: 153048 Find in a Library
Title: Right to Counsel in Native American Tribal Courts: Tribal Sovereignty and Congressional Control
Journal: American Criminal Law Review  Volume:31  Issue:4  Dated:(Summer 1994)  Pages:1279-1301
Author(s): V C Milani
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 23
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the congressional power to impose an indigent defense requirement upon tribal courts and evaluates whether Congress should do so.
Abstract: Because the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not apply to Indian tribes, defendants in Indian tribal courts do not have the right to counsel. Despite the potential for injustice in such a circumstance, the U.S. Congress, although it has the power, has refrained from imposing the right to counsel on Indian tribal courts. The author discusses tribal courts, including their history, nature, and jurisdictional role, and then describes their interaction with the Federal courts. After examining the evidentiary use of uncounseled tribal court convictions in Federal courts, the author concludes that tribal sovereignty, intertribal diversity, and the existing responsiveness of tribes to the needs of their members mitigate against congressional imposition of a right to counsel and shows how this can be justified despite the potential for civil rights abuses. 114 footnotes
Main Term(s): Tribal court system
Index Term(s): Indian justice; Right to counsel
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