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JOHNSON

decided: May 10, 1897.

IN RE JOHNSON, PETITIONER.


ORIGINAL.

Author: Brown

[ 167 U.S. Page 122]

 MR. JUSTICE BROWN, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.

This case raises the question whether the United States court for the Southern District of the Indian Territory had jurisdiction to try and condemn the petitioner under the circumstances above set forth.

The following statutes are pertinent in this connection: By the fifth section of the act "to establish a United States court in the Indian Territory," etc., approved March 1, 1889, c. 333, ยง 5, 25 Stat. 783, it is enacted "that the court hereby established shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all offences against the laws of the United States, committed within the Indian Territory as in this act defined, not punishable by death or imprisonment at hard labor"; by the seventeenth section "that the Chickasaw Nation, and the portion of the Choctaw Nation" within certain described boundaries (including the locus of this crime), "and all that portion of the Indian Territory not annexed to the district of Kansas by the act approved January 6, 1883, and not set apart and occupied by the five civilized tribes, shall, from and after the passage of

[ 167 U.S. Page 123]

     this act, be annexed to and constitute a part of the Eastern Judicial District of the State of Texas, for judicial purposes."

The eighteenth section provides that sessions of said court shall be held twice in each year at Paris; "and the United States courts, herein provided to be held at Paris shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all offences committed against the laws of the United States within the limits of that portion of the Indian Territory attached to the Eastern Judicial District of the State of Texas by the provisions of this act, of which jurisdiction is not given by this act to the court herein established in the Indian Territory."

Taking these sections together, it is clear that jurisdiction was vested in the new court, created by the act, over all minor offences against the laws of the United States committed within the Indian Territory; but that jurisdiction of all offences punishable by death or by imprisonment at hard labor was conferred upon the United States court for the Eastern District of Texas over that portion of the Indian Territory described in section seventeen.

This jurisdiction was expressly continued by section thirty-three of the act of May 2, 1890, 26 Stat. 81, "to provide a temporary government for the Territory of Oklahoma."

On March 1, 1895, an act was passed "to provide for the appointment of additional judges of the United States court in the Indian Territory," etc. 28 Stat. 693. The ninth section of that act reads as follows:

"SEC. 9. That the United States court in the Indian Territory shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all offences committed in said Territory, of which the United States court in the Indian Territory now has jurisdiction, and after the first day of September, 1896, shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all offences against the laws of the United States, committed in said Territory, except such cases as the United States court at Paris, Texas, Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Fort Scott, Kansas, shall have acquired jurisdiction of before that time. . . .

"All laws heretofore enacted conferring jurisdiction upon United States courts held in Arkansas, Kansas and Texas, outside of the limits of ...


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