Law | National | Politics

Pascua Yaqui Tribe faces a test of jurisdiction under VAWA

All eyes are on the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona as it prosecutes three non-Indian offenders.

The tribe is one the first to exercise authority under S.47, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The law recognizes tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit domestic violence offenses on reservations.

The tribe's public defender has filed motions to dismiss the three cases, alleging non-compliance with VAWA, The Washington Post reported. A hearing will take place this Friday in tribal court.

“Everyone’s feeling pressure about these cases,” Alfred Urbina, the tribe's chief prosecutor, told the paper. “They’re the first cases. No one wants to screw anything up."

Three other cases involving non-Indians were dismissed due to concerns about evidence, the Post reported.

Get the Story:
Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law (The Washington Post 4/19)

Also Today:
Annamarya Scaccia: Inside the Pilot Project That Grants Tribal Authority Over Domestic Violence Cases (RH Reality Check 4/16)

Related Stories:
Pascua Yaqui Tribe exercises VAWA jurisdiction in five cases (04/01)

Join the Conversation