In Alaska village, banishment helps keep peace

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The isolated village where two Alaska State Troopers were shot and killed is turning to a traditional form of justice for two men with connections to the suspected shooter: banishment.

The tribal council voted to expel both men after the May 1 shootings. Council Chairman Curtis Sommer says the men are threats to residents and banishment is the only means the village has to remove dangerous people.

Tanana is off the highway system and has no armed police officers.

Banishment in Alaska communities has occurred before. But its legality has not been established for villages otherwise governed by state law.

Native American Rights Fund attorney Heather Kendall-Miller says banishment should be legal and that it's a reasonable approach to avoid violence in small communities without access to police or jails.

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