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Supreme Court of the United States
January 11, 1993, Argued ; February 24, 1993, Decided
[*100] [***462] [**1120] CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court. 2
[****4] The question presented in this case is whether the Kansas Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3243, confers jurisdiction on the State of Kansas to prosecute petitioner, a Kickapoo Indian, for the state-law offense of aggravated battery [**1121] committed against another Indian on an Indian reservation. We hold that it does.
Petitioner, Emery L. Negonsott, is a member of the Kickapoo Tribe and a resident of the Kickapoo Reservation in Brown County, Kansas. In March 1985, he was arrested by the county sheriff in connection with the shooting of another Indian on the Kickapoo Reservation. After a jury trial in the Brown County District Court, petitioner was found guilty of aggravated battery. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-3414 (1988). The District Court set the conviction aside, however, on the ground that the Federal Government had exclusive jurisdiction to prosecute petitioner for the shooting under the Indian Major Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1153. The Kansas Supreme Court reinstated petitioner's conviction, holding that the Kansas Act conferred jurisdiction on Kansas to prosecute "all crimes committed by or against Indians on Indian reservations located in Kansas." State v. Nioce, 239 Kan. 127, 131, 716 P.2d [****5] 585, 588 (1986). On remand, the Brown County District Court sentenced petitioner to imprisonment [***463] for a term of 3 to 10 years.
Petitioner then filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, reasserting his claim that Kansas lacked jurisdiction to prosecute him for aggravated battery. The District Court dismissed his petition, 696 F. Supp. 561 (Kan. 1988), and the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed, 933 F.2d 818 (1991). The Court of Appeals found the language of the Kansas Act ambiguous as to "whether Congress intended to grant Kansas courts concurrent jurisdiction with federal courts over the crimes enumerated in the [Indian] Major Crimes Act, or whether by the second sentence of the Kansas Act Congress intended to retain exclusive jurisdiction in the federal courts over those specific crimes." Id., at 820-821. After examining the Act's legislative history, however, the Court of Appeals resolved this ambiguity in favor of the first construction, and held that Kansas had jurisdiction to prosecute petitioner for aggravated [*102] battery. Id., at 821-823. We granted certiorari to resolve a conflict between the Courts of Appeals, 505 U.S. 1218 [****6] (1992), 3 and now affirm.
] Criminal jurisdiction over offenses committed in "Indian country," 18 U.S.C. § 1151, "is governed by a complex patchwork of federal, state, and tribal law." Duro v. Reina, 495 U.S. 676, 680, n. 1, 109 L. Ed. 2d 693, 110 S. Ct. 2053 (1990). The Indian Country Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1152, extends the general criminal laws of federal maritime and enclave jurisdiction to Indian country, except for those "offenses committed by one Indian against the [****7] person or property of another Indian." See F. Cohen, Hand-book of Federal Indian Law 288 (1982 ed.). These latter offenses typically are subject to the jurisdiction of the concerned Indian tribe, unless they are among those enumerated in the Indian Major Crimes Act. Originally enacted in 1885, the Indian Major Crimes Act establishes federal jurisdiction over 13 enumerated felonies committed by "any Indian . . . against the person or property of another Indian or other person . . . within the Indian country." § 1153(a). 4 As [*103] the text of § 1153, [***464] see n. 2, [**1122] supra, and our prior cases make clear, federal jurisdiction over the offenses covered by the Indian Major Crimes Act is "exclusive" of state jurisdiction. See United States v. John, 437 U.S. 634, 651, 57 L. Ed. 2d 489, 98 S. Ct. 2541 (1978); Seymour v. Superintendent of Washington State Penitentiary, 368 U.S. 351, 359, 7 L. Ed. 2d 346, 82 S. Ct. 424 (1962); United States v. Kagama, 118 U.S. 375, 384, 30 L. Ed. 228, 6 S. Ct. 1109 (1886).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
507 U.S. 99 *; 113 S. Ct. 1119 **; 122 L. Ed. 2d 457 ***; 1993 U.S. LEXIS 1783 ****; 61 U.S.L.W. 4185; 93 Cal. Daily Op. Service 1247; 7 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 20
EMERY L. NEGONSOTT, PETITIONER v. HAROLD SAMUELS, WARDEN, ET AL.
Prior History: [****1] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT.
Disposition: 933 F.2d 818, affirmed.
Kansas Act, offenses, major crime, reservations, prosecute, commission of the offense, confer jurisdiction, federal jurisdiction, federal court, tribes, courts, state law, concurrent jurisdiction, aggravated battery, second sentence, federal law, enumerated, sentence
Governments, Native Americans, Authority & Jurisdiction, Admiralty & Maritime Law, Practice & Procedure, Jurisdiction, Major Crimes Act, Property Rights, Legislation, Interpretation, Civil Procedure, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction Over Actions, Concurrent Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction, General Overview