Yogi Bear could steal with impunity in Yellowstone National Park

Thanks to a legal loophole there’s apparently a portion of Yellowstone National Park in the US (the park the fictional Jellystone National Park was named after) where you can essentially commit crimes without fear of prosecution. Apparently. Legal loopholes are fun.

Image Credit: Legal Aware, a post about the legality of bear picnic basket theft

Here’s the geographic state of play:

“There’s a small portion of Yellowstone National Park that spills over the Wyoming border into Idaho and another small part that’s in Montana that would create an almost perfect crime.”

An upcoming paper in a legal journal makes the following argument (via the BBC and NPR):

“”But Article III [Section 2] plainly requires that the trial be held in Idaho, the state in which the crime was committed.

“Perhaps if you fuss convincingly enough about it the case would be sent to Idaho.

“But the Sixth Amendment then requires that the jury be from the state – Idaho – and the district – Wyoming – in which the crime was committed.

“In other words, the jury would have to be drawn from the Idaho portion of Yellowstone which, according to the 2000 Census has a population of precisely zero.

“Assuming that you do not feel like consenting to trial in Cheyenne, you should go free.””

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.