Two Native American Judges Aim for Restorative 'Tribal Justice'

at 10:30 AM
Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 5 years old.
Judge Abby Abinanti is the subject of "Tribal Justice." (Photo: Anne Makepeace)

Imagine a courtroom where the judge is someone who grew up with your parents and who sits down at the table to talk with you like a longtime friend. That's the approach Judge Abby Abinanti takes when she rules on cases for the Yurok Tribe in Northern California. Abinanti and Claudette White, who is the chief judge for the Quechan Tribe in Southern California, are the focus of a new documentary, "Tribal Justice." The film examines the two judges' use of restorative justice in their courtrooms. We talk to Judge Abinanti and filmmaker Anne Makepeace.

Anne Makepeace,
filmmaker, "Tribal Justice"
Abby Abinanti, chief judge, the Yurok Tribal Court; retired commissioner, San Francisco Superior Court