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Yellowstone National Park contains a 50-square mile “zone of death” where, legal scholars suggest, a person could commit murder without fear of prosecution. This zone is the part of the park that extends into Idaho. The reason for this free-pass-for-murder lies with the Sixth Amendment which guarantees a defendant the right to a trial by a jury “of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.” The zone is in the State of Idaho, but because of the unique legal status of Yellowstone, it’s in the judicial District of Wyoming. Therefore, to prosecute anyone a court would need to form a jury of people who live simultaneously in the State of Idaho and the District of Wyoming. No one fits that bill because no one lives in the Idaho part of Yellowstone. Without being able to create a jury, a trial couldn’t proceed.

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