Supreme Court Case Raises Questions About Tribal Convictions

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether charges can be filed against defendants who were convicted of domestic violence counts in tribal courts that didn’t provide attorneys.

The case presents a critical test for tribal courts – many don’t have the money to hire public defenders – at a time when federal authorities are prosecuting violent crimes on reservations.

A law deterring repeat offenders has cases involving those with multiple convictions to be handled in federal courts with stiffer punishments.