Keeble v. United States
412 U.S. 205 (1973)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Keeble v. United States, 412 U.S. 205 (1973)

Keeble v. United States

No. 72-5323

Argued March 27, 1973

Decided May 29, 1973

412 U.S. 205


Petitioner, an Indian, was convicted of assault with intent to commit serious bodily injury on an Indian reservation, a federal crime under the Major Crimes Act of 1885, after the court refused to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of simple assault. The Court of Appeals affirmed on the ground that, since simple assault is not one of the offenses enumerated in the Act, it would be exclusively "a matter for the tribe."

Held: An Indian prosecuted in federal court under the Act is entitled to a jury instruction on lesser included offenses if the facts warrant. Such an instruction would not expand the reach of the Act or permit the Government to infringe the residual jurisdiction of the Indian tribes by bringing in federal court prosecutions not authorized by statute. Pp. 412 U. S. 207-214.

459 F.2d 757 and 762, reversed and remanded.

BRENNAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and DOUGLAS, WHITE, MARSHALL, and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined. STEWART, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which POWELL and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined, post, p. 412 U. S. 215.

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