There Ain't No Justice! Yellowstone National Park's “Zone of Death”

Prof. Brian C. Kalt’s original 2005 paper about this constitutional glitch is “The Perfect Crime” (full text PDF download available at the link). Here is the abstract:

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.

I read this paper shortly after it was published. It’s amazing that after all these years nothing has been done to correct this constitutional goof. But since it’s the U.S. Congress who would have to take action, not surprising.