Navajo Nation considers tougher crime sentences

Posted at: 05/16/2013 11:46 AM
By: The Associated Press


FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) - Navajo Nation officials are holding public hearings on proposed sentencing law changes that include tougher penalties for numerous crimes, including possession of alcohol.

Officials say they're reviewing the sentencing laws because the tribe eliminated or reduced penalties in 2000 for nearly 30 offenses.

According to officials, that was because the tribe had limited resources to penalize offenders.

The Daily Times reports that people who possess liquor on the Navajo Nation now can receive a sentence of a $50 fine for the first offense. A proposal would raise the maximum fine to $500.

The tribe can prosecute only misdemeanors, with a maximum penalty for any crime is 1 year in jail and $5,000 in fines.

Federal authorities can prosecute people for felonies committed on reservations.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)