An Indian hanging himself in the drunk tank is seldom big news in Indian country. But when Jay Spotted Elk hung himself while facing misdemeanor charges in Sheridan County, Nebraska, his mother decided not to stand for it. And Steve Russell — who is himself both a judge and an American Indian — tells us that this time “it became possible to prove that Jay Spotted Elk’s last night on earth was not unusual in the history of Sheridan County, Nebraska.”

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