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People on TikTok are only just learning about a place in the United States where people are said to be able to away with murder.
The area, which falls in Yellowstone National Park, has been dubbed the ‘zone of death’ as anyone who commits a crime in that area can’t be given a fair trial.
While the national park is located in the district of Wyoming, this particular 50 square mile radius is located in the states of Idaho and Montana.
Okay, so this is where it gets a little bit complicated, as TikToker @itskeyes helpfully explains in song:
@itskeyesLegal Loopholes Exposed Pt. 1: Zone of Death. I am not a lawyer so if I messed up this up plz don’t sue me. #lawschool #HolidayMusic #musicaltheatre♬ original sound – itskeyes
When a crime takes place, the jury must be from the state and district where the incident happened. So if, for example, a murder was carried out on that little strip of land in both the district of Wyoming and the state of Idaho, the jury on the trial should be from that little strip of land.
However, no one lives on that land… making it impossible for anyone in such a case to be given a fair trial.
The idea was explained by Professor Brian C Kalt, who wrote about the bizarre loophole in his 2005 paper The Perfect Crime.
He explained that the entirety of Yellow Stone Park was assigned to the district of Wyoming, making it the only piece of land in the whole of the United States where an area is in a different state and district.
If a crime was to take place in that area, the police would automatically take the suspect to Cheyenne, which is Wyoming’s hub, simply because of the crime taking place in that district.
However, according to the US constitution, the trial should take place in the state where the crime occurred, which means the perpetrator could ask for a trial in Idaho.
@chrisfahmyReply to @the.real.rkelly – OKAY THEN… I’m gonna make sure I never randomly go walking there…. 😅😅😅 #sokeepup #tiktokpartner #learnontiktok♬ Oh No – Kreepa
Then, under the sixth amendment, a local jury is required to ensure a fair trial, meaning they must be from the state and district where the crime was committed.
‘Nobody lives there. There’s no way for them to give you a trial and so, I argue, they should have to let you go,’ Kalt explained during an interview with Vox.
If the same thing happened on the strip of land in Montana, a trial could technically go ahead as a few people do live there.
Kalt has argued that the US Congress needs to fix the loopholes by changing the district lines, but so far nothing has been done.
So, you should probably avoid that little strip of land… just to be on the safe side.
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