Michigan State University College of Law professor Brian C. Kalt wrote a paper titled The Perfect Crime that might cause some major problems for the states of Wyoming and Idaho.
It all comes down to a small section of Yellowstone National Park that falls into two jurisdictions. As the entire park falls under the control of Wyoming, there is a problem with a sliver that sits in Idaho.
What this means, as Kalt explains in his paper:
Say that you are in the Idaho portion of Yellowstone, and you decide to spice up your vacation by going on a crime spree. You make some moonshine, you poach some wildlife, you strangle some people and steal their picnic baskets. You are arrested, arraigned in the park, and bound over for trial in Cheyenne, Wyoming before a jury drawn from the Cheyenne area. 21 But Article III, Section 2 plainly requires that the trial be held in Idaho, the state in which the crime was committed. Perhaps if you fuss convincingly enough about it, the case would be sent to Idaho. But the Sixth Amendment then requires that the jury be from the state (Idaho) and the district (Wyoming) in which the crime was committed. In other words, the jury would have to be drawn from the Idaho portion of Yellowstone National Park, which, according to the 2000 Census, has a population of precisely zero. 22 (The Montana portion-should you choose to rampage there--has an adult population of a few dozen, which might nevertheless present Sixth Amendment problems as well. 23)
Ryan Holliday/WikiMedia Commons
The problem arises––should a crime be committed in that area––when authorities try to secure a jury, since the Sixth Amendment says a defendant has the right to a jury comprised of people living in the state and district where the crime was committed. And therein lies the rub: This small section of Yellowstone doesn't have a jury pool that could be pulled from by both the state and the district.
The video below explains how it all works.
So far no one has taken advantage of this loophole.
There are places inside Yellowstone National Park where you can literally get away with murder. Not even kidding.… https://t.co/DvVLj6JsxA— Adam Jones & Associates (@Adam Jones & Associates)1529512136.0
You may remember Kalt as the guy who figured out you can murder people with impunity in the Idaho portion of Yellow… https://t.co/no7uSEHumi— Pinboard (@Pinboard)1528048453.0
Due To a Legal Loophole, There’s a Murder Zone in Yellowstone National Park | Nerdist https://t.co/kHHCiJUr8Z— Elden Wayne Whalen III (@Elden Wayne Whalen III)1525351088.0
It's scary how many people celebrated the discovery.
@wowpaige @AshleighStarr14 Fun fact: there's a place in Yellowstone National Park where murder is legal 😊😊😊 #justsayin— becca hooey (@becca hooey)1524098116.0
@ifeellikepueblo can you help me commit murder legally @ yellowstone national park?— swarm nazis with your fists (@swarm nazis with your fists)1524075365.0
You can supposedly get away with murder in a specific spot in the yellowstone national park... the more you knw— vale.madre (@vale.madre)1520890894.0
@nerdist Now I know where to take that one special person to on vacation— Diane Wallace (@Diane Wallace)1514574357.0
@bluemyfriend @nerdist Now if some would just drop a pin to that location that be great— Lance Rush (@Lance Rush)1514586710.0
@nerdist Quite a murder zone, eh Charles?— HokieSandman (@HokieSandman)1514574697.0
Let's hope the loophole isn't put to the test.