The Perfect Crime
MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 02-14
15 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2005 Last revised: 29 Jun 2018
Date Written: 2005
This article argues that there is a 50-square-mile swath of Idaho in which one might be able to 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.
Keywords: Juries, Venue, Vicinage,Sixth Amendment, Federal lands, Criminal law, Criminal procedure, Constitutional law
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation