Getting Away with Murder 

By Rachel Walker 

Home to more geysers and hot springs than any other place in the world, Yellowstone National Park is one of the most sought-after places for vacation. However, Yellowstone isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The park consists of a 50-square-mile section named the Zone of Death. The Zone of Death, in theory, creates the perfect crime. With no one residing within the 50 square miles of this section in Idaho, a fair trial can not occur without violating the sixth amendment. The sixth amendment gives citizens the right to be tried in front of a jury that contains members from both the state and district where the crime was committed. Therefore, if tried for a crime without any members from the district, there is a possibility of a mistrial. The Zone of Death first made headlines in 2005 when Brian Kalt, a professor at the University of Michigan, wrote a paper titled “The Perfect Crime” in which he suggested this loophole exists. In July 2007, the first incident occurred when Micheal Belderrian illegally shot and killed an elk. The court dismissed the case, allegedly out of fear of others finding out about the loophole. Ultimately, Belderrian took a plea deal, leaving the case unresolved. As of now, Idaho Senator Jim Risch does not believe the zone will be an issue because of the small area and low crime rate. For now, the loophole of Yellowstone still remains.