33 min

The 50-Square-Mile Zone Where the Constitution Doesn't Apply The Experiment

    • Documentary

Deep in Yellowstone National Park, there’s a glitch in the U.S. Constitution where, technically, you could get away with murder. Lawmakers didn’t seem interested in fixing the problem until Mike Belderrain stumbled into the “Zone of Death” while hunting the biggest elk of his life. In a world with so many preventable deaths, The Experiment documents one attempt to avert disaster.

This episode of The Experiment originally ran on February 4, 2021.

A transcript of this episode is available.


Be part of The Experiment. Use the hashtag #TheExperimentPodcast or write to us at theexperiment@theatlantic.com. 

This episode was produced by Julia Longoria and Alvin Melathe, with editing by Katherine Wells and sound design by David Herman.

Music by Water Feature (“In a Semicircle or a Half-Moon”), R McCarthy (“Big Game,” “She’s a Gift Giver, She’s a Giver of Gifts,” and “Melodi 2”), Ob (“Ell” and “Ere”), Parish Council (“Mopping”), H Hunt (“11e”), Column (“Quiet Song”), and Bwengo (“Première Mosrel”); catalog by Tasty Morsels. Additional audio from Montana State University Library’s Acoustic Atlas, the National Park Service’s Sound Library, C. J. Box, CNBC, C-SPAN, Vox, NPR’s All Things Considered, Idaho News 6, @ItsKeyes, and C-SPAN’s Book TV.

Deep in Yellowstone National Park, there’s a glitch in the U.S. Constitution where, technically, you could get away with murder. Lawmakers didn’t seem interested in fixing the problem until Mike Belderrain stumbled into the “Zone of Death” while hunting the biggest elk of his life. In a world with so many preventable deaths, The Experiment documents one attempt to avert disaster.

This episode of The Experiment originally ran on February 4, 2021.

A transcript of this episode is available.


Be part of The Experiment. Use the hashtag #TheExperimentPodcast or write to us at theexperiment@theatlantic.com. 

This episode was produced by Julia Longoria and Alvin Melathe, with editing by Katherine Wells and sound design by David Herman.

Music by Water Feature (“In a Semicircle or a Half-Moon”), R McCarthy (“Big Game,” “She’s a Gift Giver, She’s a Giver of Gifts,” and “Melodi 2”), Ob (“Ell” and “Ere”), Parish Council (“Mopping”), H Hunt (“11e”), Column (“Quiet Song”), and Bwengo (“Première Mosrel”); catalog by Tasty Morsels. Additional audio from Montana State University Library’s Acoustic Atlas, the National Park Service’s Sound Library, C. J. Box, CNBC, C-SPAN, Vox, NPR’s All Things Considered, Idaho News 6, @ItsKeyes, and C-SPAN’s Book TV.

33 min

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