Editorial: Release Indian crime declination rates
"Drew Wrigley is a fine lawyer and respected U.S. attorney for North Dakota. But even the best executives need a tip from the newspaper industry now and then: Wrigley should stop rebuffing Congress’ request for statistics on how many crimes the federal government prosecutes on Indian reservations.

Wrigley may have the best of intentions for keeping the statistics under wraps as well as some valid concerns. But those aren’t enough. In the current political climate, top government officials simply can’t get away with saying Trust Me or The Information’s Too Complicated or The Public Can’t Handle the Facts.

First, Washington has betrayed such trust too many times for official assurances to be believed. Second, the public is smarter than Wrigley may give it credit for and handles complicated statistical information every day. Third, claiming that the public can’t handle certain information is condescending and makes Wrigley look as if he has something to hide.

Fourth, the statistics might just do Wrigley’s and other U.S. attorney’s offices some good. If Congress ever is going to improve the U.S. attorneys’ lot, it needs accurate information. That very much includes information — and numbers — that show the high obstacles the attorneys confront in trying to prosecute crimes on the reservation."

Get the Story:
Our Opinion: DOJ should release Indian crime data (The Grand Forks Herald 9/22)

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