The Perfect Crime
Brian C. Kalt
Michigan State University College of Law
MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 02-14
This article argues that there is a 50-square-mile swath of Idaho in which one can commit felonies with impunity. This is because of the intersection of a poorly drafted statute with a clear but neglected constitutional provision: the Sixth Amendment's Vicinage Clause. Although lesser criminal charges and civil liability still loom, the remaining possibility of criminals going free over a needless technical failure by Congress is difficult to stomach. No criminal defendant has ever broached the subject, let alone faced the numerous (though unconvincing) counterarguments. This shows that vicinage is not taken seriously by lawyers or judges. Still, Congress should close the Idaho loophole, not pretend it does not exist.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: Juries, Venue, Vicinage,Sixth Amendment, Federal lands, Criminal law, Criminal procedure, Constitutional law
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K19
Date posted: March 25, 2005
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