Washington state supreme court rules for Yakama Indian in fishing prosecution

The Supreme Court of Washington, in State v. Jim, decided Feb. 9, 2012, that Lester Ray Jim, an enrolled citizen of the Yakama Nation could not be prosecuted by the State for netting an undersized sturgeon because the act occurred at the Maryhill Treaty Fishing Access Site, land set aside by Congress exclusively for the use of four Columbia River tribes to exercise their treaty fishing rights.

The State mandtained that it had criminal jurisdiction over conduct occurring at Maryhill. The majority of the supreme court disagreed. Instead, that court held that Maryhill is reserved and held by the United States for the exclusive use of tribal citizens and that the state lacks criminal jurisdiction.

Read the full opinion at: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/index.cfm?fa=opinions.showOpinion&filename=847169MAJ

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