104 U.S. 621 (1882), U.s. v. Mcbratney

Citation:104 U.S. 621, 26 L.Ed. 869
Case Date:March 06, 1882
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 621

104 U.S. 621 (1882)

26 L.Ed. 869




United States Supreme Court.

March 06, 1882


CERTIFICATE of division of opinion from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Colorado.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.


The Solicitor-General for the United States.

Mr. Thomas G. Putnam, contra.

MR. JUSTICE GRAY delivered the opinion of the court.

The defendant, having been indicted and convicted, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Colorado, of the murder of Thomas Casey, within the boundaries of the Ute Reservation in that district, moved in arrest of judgment for want of jurisdiction of the court. The indictment does not allege that either the accused or the deceased was an Indian. The certificate of division, upon which the case has been brought to this court, states that at the trial it appeared that both were white men, and that the murder was committed in the district of Colorado, within the Ute Reservation, the said Ute Reservation lying wholly within the exterior limits of the State of Colorado; and that, upon the motion in arrest of judgment coming on to be heard before Mr. Justice Miller and Judge Hallett, their opinions were opposed upon this question: 'Whether the Circuit Court of the United States sitting in and for the district of Colorado has jurisdiction of the crime of murder, committed by a white man upon a white man, within the Ute Reservation in said district, and within the geographical limits of the State of Colorado.'

The Circuit Courts of the United States have jurisdiction of the crime of murder committed in any 'place or district of country under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States;' and, except where special provision is made, 'the general laws of the United States as to the punishment of crimes committed in any place within the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the

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United States, except the District of Columbia, shall extend to the Indian country.' Rev. Stat., sect. 629, cl. 20, sect. 2145, sect. 5339, cl. 1.

By the second article of the treaty between the United States and the Ute Indians, of March 2, 1868, the United States agreed that a certain district of country therein described should be set apart for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation of the Indians therein named, and of such other friendly tribes or individual Indians as from time to time they might be willing, with the consent of the United States, to admit among them; and that no persons, except those therein authorized so to do, and except such officers, agents, and employés of the government as might be authorized to enter upon Indian reservations in discharge of duties enjoined by law, should ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in the territory so...

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