Appeals court reject 1868 treaty defense in federal prosecution
The 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie does not require the federal government to notify tribes before prosecuting their members, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday.

Patrick White Mountain was charged with assaulting a federal officer. But he said he couldn't be prosecuted in federal court because the Oglala Sioux Tribe officers who arrested him were never given notice under a provision of the treaty that refers to "bad men."

The provision reads:
If bad men among the Indians shall commit a wrong or depredation upon the person or property of any one, white, black, or Indian, subject to the authority of the United States, and at peace therewith, the Indians herein named solemnly agree that they will, upon proof made to their agent and notice by him, deliver up the wrong-doer to the United States, to be tried and punished according to its laws .

In an unpublished opinion, the 8th Circuit disagreed with White Mountain's argument. They said the provision does not impose an obligation on the federal government but instead requires tribes to turn over offenders.

Get the Story:
Man loses appeal over 1868 treaty (AP 11/19)

8th Circuit Decision:
US v. White Mountain (November 18, 2010)