Federal Judge Myron H. Bright, UND law school panel to discuss American Indian ‘sentencing disparity’


Rob Carolin

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

School of Law


Former Miss Navajo Radmilla Cody, an award-winning recording artist, also will speak about legal issues in regard to tribal women

The University of North Dakota School of Law will host a panel discussion featuring Federal Judge Myron H. Bright on Monday, Oct. 14, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Law School's Baker Courtroom.

The panelists will discuss the topic of "sentencing disparity" for American Indians and specifically the case of Dana Deegan.

The event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be provided.

Deegan is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes and is currently serving a 10-year sentence on a charge of second-degree murder. Deegan's case was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in

December 2008. Judge Bright was on the panel of three judges to hear the case, and he offered a strong dissent to the majority's decision to uphold Deegan's sentence.

The event also will discuss matters of race, jurisdiction, crime, sentencing disparity and their effects on tribal peoples, particularly tribal women, highlighted by a talk by Radmilla Cody. Cody is a former Miss Navajo and an award winning recording artist whose own life story parallels Deegan's and who is now an advocate on behalf of Native women.

Cody joins other distinguished panelists to highlight these important issues.

A complete schedule of topics and presenters is as follows:

1:30 – 2 p.m. - Overview of the Disparity Problem and its Origins BJ Jones, Director, Tribal Judicial Institute & Chief Justice of the Turtle Mountain Tribal Court of Appeals Chris Ironroad, Associate Attorney at Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP

2 – 3 p.m. - Impact of Disparity on Native Americans- The Case of Dana Deegan Judge Myron H. Bright, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Judge David E. Ackerson, St. Louis County, Minnesota Sarah Deer, Assistant Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law Marmie Jotter, sister of Dana Deegan and licensed psychotherapist

3- 3:30 p.m. - How the Guidelines Unfairly Treat Domestic Violence Victims Radmilla Cody- Ms. Navajo Nation 1997-98 and recording artist