TNB Night Owl – The Zone Of Death

Yellowstone National Park

What do you call a no-man’s land where murder, assault and rape can occur without fear of consequences? Fifty square miles where only the strong survive… you could call it something suitably impressive like the Final Wasteland or, better, The Zone of Death!

Or you could call it Yellowstone National Park. Your call. No matter what you call it, there’s a taxpayer-maintained campground, so it’s ready for visitors.

What has become known as the Yellowstone Zone of Death was first hypothesized by Brian C. Kalt of the Michigan State University College of Law. He wrote a paper called “The Perfect Crime” which was published in 2005 in the Georgetown Law Journal.

The general concept is as follows:

The Sixth Amendment reads, in part, that a person has the right to a trial by “an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed”. Yellowstone Park stands within the jurisdiction of the state of Wyoming, but there is about a 50 square mile area which lies in Idaho, not Wyoming. This means that, theoretically, any jury would need to be seated using people who live in Idaho but are under Wyoming jurisdiction. The only place where those conditions exist are in that selfsame 50 square miles… which are, as reserved Federal park land, uninhabited except for visitors.

Worse, because it is a federal park, neither Idaho nor Wyoming can pass a law to cover the discrepancy. It is a matter which could, theoretically, be very easily addressed by a Congressional act… but as yet, none have been presented.

The Zone of Death may disappear soon, or it could be with us for decades to come. It’s already been the inspiration for a thriller movie, Population Zero, in 2016.

One thing is certain, though… before you go camping with some friends at the Buffalo Lake campground in Yellowstone, you should probably make quite certain that none of them hold any serious grudges against you. Just in case.

About the opinions in this article…

Any opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or of the other authors/contributors who write for it.

About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.