Makah court defers prosecution for 5 Posted by: "Victoria" email@example.com bayarea_uk Fri May 16, 2008 10:06 am (PDT) May, 15, 2008 Makah court defers prosecution for 5 who killed gray whale www.bellinghamherald.com/northwest/story/410858.html <http://www.bellinghamherald.com/northwest/story/410858.html> NEAH BAY, Wash. -- A Makah judge deferred prosecution for five tribal members who killed a gray whale.
The court was unable to seat a jury for trial in Neah Bay on tribal charges of animal cruelty and discharging a firearm. Most of the 200 potential jurors were related to the defendants or had strong feelings about the case.
Chief Tribal Judge Stanley Myers said Wednesday the charges will be dropped after a year if the five abide by conditions to be set June 30 by a federal court in Tacoma. The men have either pleaded guilty or been convicted of violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The men harpooned the whale four times and shot it at least 16 times on Sept. 8 and it died and sank.
The tribe claims a treaty right to kill gray whales as it did in 1999.