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Editorial: Justice lacking in Crow murder case

"Perhaps, the FBI soon will complete the investigation it won't speak of publicly. Perhaps U.S. Attorney Bill Mercer will take the case to the federal grand jury when it convenes for a monthly session. Meanwhile, the survivors of Koren Diebert and LaFonda Big Leggins have been left in the dark for an entire year.

Justice demands compassion and accountability, both of which are tragically lacking in this case thus far. Unlike the state court system, the federal system doesn't afford victims, families and communities the power to elect the chief law enforcement officer or the top prosecutor. Federal authorities aren't subject to the Montana open records law and statutes that require disclosure of certain court proceedings, even in juvenile cases.

Nevertheless, federal investigators and the U.S. attorney should go the extra mile to keep in touch with victims' families and show respect for their concerns. The families and the public have a right to assurance that this murder case is being handled as properly and promptly as possible."

Get the Story:
Gazette opinion: Authorities must be more open in reservation murder cases (The Billings Gazette 12/2)

Relevant Documents:
Crow Tribe Letter | U.S. Attorney's Response

Related Stories:
Series: Waiting for justice on Crow Reservation (11/29)
Crow Tribe blames unsolved murders on racism (11/23)
Charges pending for murders on Crow Reservation (06/25)
Juvenile held for Crow Reservation murders (12/11)
Arrests in Crow Reservation double murder (12/10)
Two women beaten to death on Crow Reservation (12/01)