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Indian Law Expert Discusses Carpenter VS Murphy

University of Tulsa

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling for the Muscogee Creek Nation could mean new trials for some Oklahoma inmates. Death Row convict Patrick Murphy claims the state should have never tried him for a 1999 Henryetta murder, because Henryetta in in the Muscogee Creek Nation. 

The court heard oral arguments in the case on Tuesday.

University of Tulsa Law Professor Ann Tweedy says a ruling for Murphy could open the door for some other appeals. That ruling would not, however, unlock Oklahoma’s prison doors. The ruling would only apply to the Creeks and NOT the other Indian tribal nations. Each tribe’s claim would have to be individually reviewed.

Tweedy says such a ruling should not handicap law enforcement on the state and local level as most agencies can easily cross-deputized with the tribal police..

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