McGirt v. Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Attorneys for a man convicted of murder in Oklahoma have appealed a state court’s ruling that a U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting state jurisdiction for crimes committed on tribal reservations by or against tribal citizens does not apply retroactively.

Court documents show attorneys for Clifton Parish, 37, on Monday asked the Supreme Court to overturn the August ruling by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday again ruled that Oklahoma has no concurrent jurisdiction over crimes committed on tribal lands by non-American Indians against American Indians.

The court rejected the state’s appeal of the dismissal of the manslaughter conviction and 19-year sentence of Richard Roth, 42.

Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. emphasized his commitment to achieving "complete sovereignty" in his annual State of the Nation address on Saturday.

Joe Ravi / CC-BY-SA 3.0

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor says he is dropping his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the first-degree murder case of death row inmate Shaun Bosse.

A filing in the appeal asked the high court to find its July 2020 ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma did not apply to criminal convictions before the decision or to overturn it completely. That ruling found the state had since statehood illegally prosecuted crimes involving Natives within the boundaries of tribal nations.

Oklahoma Court Reverses McGirt Rulings In 4 Death Cases

Aug 31, 2021
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma appeals court on Tuesday reversed four of its previous rulings that overturned death penalty cases based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling limiting state jurisdiction for crimes committed on tribal reservations.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals vacated rulings in the cases of death row inmates Shaun Bosse, James Ryder, Miles Bench and Benjamin Cole Sr.

Earlier this month the court ruled in a separate case that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in what is know as the McGirt case does not apply retroactively.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A member of the Seminole Nation in Oklahoma whose case led to a landmark decision on criminal jurisdiction in tribal lands has been sentenced to life in federal prison for sexual abuse of a child.

Federal prosecutors in Muskogee announced late Wednesday that Jimcy McGirt, 72, was sentenced to life in prison for two counts of aggravated sexual abuse in Indian Country.

McGirt was originally convicted in a state court and sentenced to 500 years in prison in 1997 for the assaults that occurred on Muscogee Nation land.

A federal prosecutor turned private practice Native American law attorney says the despite the current stalemate between Gov. Kevin Stitt and tribes, there is a way forward — and there needs to be, because the McGirt decision is likely here to stay.

Choctaw citizen and former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores said there is a different justice on the court since the 5–4 decision in July 2020. Conservative Amy Coney Barrett replaced the late liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The Muscogee Nation has issued a rebuttal to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s latest comments against the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last July in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

At a Tulsa Chamber event Thursday, Stitt said the ruling that Oklahoma for more than a century wrongly asserted criminal jurisdiction over tribal citizens on tribal lands "remains a threat" to the state and is the most pressing issue for Oklahoma.

Joe Ravi / CC-BY-SA 3.0

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday found a U.S. Supreme Court ruling limiting state jurisdiction for crimes committed on tribal reservations by or against tribal citizens does not apply retroactively.

Man Whose Case Led To Landmark Ruling Reconvicted By Feds

Aug 6, 2021
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma death row inmate whose legal challenge led to a historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on tribal sovereignty has been convicted of murder and kidnapping in federal court.

A federal jury in Muskogee on Thursday found Patrick Murphy, 52, guilty in the 1999 killing of George Jacobs in McIntosh County in eastern Oklahoma. Murphy faces up to life in federal prison when he is formally sentenced, but will avoid the death penalty.

Joe Ravi / CC-BY-SA 3.0

The state's new attorney general has formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn its decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, the ruling that held Oklahoma for more than a century wrongfully claimed jurisdiction over crimes within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation.

Attorney General John O'Connor, who took office two weeks ago, is calling the court's July 2020 ruling "recklessly overbroad," says crime victims are being revictimized going through the legal process a second time, and says tribes and the state don't agree on a path forward.

A local attorney intimately familiar with the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2020 ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma pushed back Thursday on Gov. Kevin Stitt and law enforcement officials’ claims the decision has imperiled public safety. 

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt departed Tulsa's Cox Business Convention Center almost an hour earlier than scheduled last night, as attendees at an event meant to discuss Tribal sovereignty and criminal jurisdiction in the light of last year's McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court decision jeered the panel's lack of Native representation and lack of opportunity for the public to directly ask questions at a forum billed as including a Q-and-A. 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two of the most powerful Native American tribes in Oklahoma said Monday they’ve reached an agreement on federal legislation that would address concerns over criminal jurisdiction in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Oklahoma’s top transportation official said improvements in partnership with the Chickasaw Nation to relieve traffic backups on I-35 at Highway 9 are on hold because they’re not the right solution, not because he consulted with the governor’s office, which has come out against the project.

The Muscogee Nation

The Muscogee Nation this week announced a rebranding, centering its public image around "Muscogee" -- not "Creek." 

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

After six hours of deliberations Monday, a federal jury found former Tulsa Police officer Shannon Kepler guilty on charges related to the 2014 killing of his daughter's 19-year-old boyfriend.

Prosecutors charged Kepler in a three-count indictment in November. The jury on Monday found Kepler not guilty of first-degree murder but guilty of discharging a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence, which were second-degree murder and assault with a dangerous weapon. The assault charge is for shooting at Jeremy Lake's younger brother.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Congress must take action to allow American Indian tribes to compact with state governments to prosecute crimes in Indian Country, Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill said Tuesday.

Office of Attorney General

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s attorney general on Wednesday asked the state’s highest criminal court to reconsider its ruling overturning a man’s murder convictions and death sentence because of jurisdictional issues stemming from the U.S. Supreme Court’s determination that much of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on March 11 overturned the conviction and sentence of Shaun Michael Bosse, 38, and rejected Attorney General Mike Hunter’s claim that the state had concurrent jurisdiction in the case.

Whitney Bryen-Oklahoma Watch

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday ruled the state did not have jurisdiction to prosecute a former Tulsa police officer who was convicted of manslaughter in 2017 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. 

Former Tulsa officer Shannon James Kepler, 60, is a member of Creek Nation who was convicted of killing his daughter’s boyfriend in Tulsa on land within the historic reservation of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma man’s murder convictions and death sentence have been overturned following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that much of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday reversed the decisions against Shaun Bosse, 38, because the crimes occurred on land within the Chickasaw Nation’s historic reservation and the victims were Native American.

An Oklahoma lawmaker who is a proponent of reforming court fines and fees does not plan to carry legislation on it this year, dealing a blow to advocates who see that step as a priority.

During a panel discussion at Oklahoma Policy Institute’s budget summit this week, Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Thompson (R-Okemah) said Oklahoma’s courts are actually in line for a supplemental appropriation of around $15 million early in the legislative session because they haven’t collected enough in fines and fees this fiscal year. The pandemic is largely to blame.

Joe Ravi / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in McGirt v Oklahoma that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation was never disestablished, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma have seen more than four times as many criminal defendants.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Court saw an even bigger increase in cases.

Stitt Seeks Negotiations With Tribal Leaders

Jan 22, 2021
File Photo / Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday invited leaders of the Five Tribes of Oklahoma to begin formal negotiations related to last year’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on tribal sovereignty.

Stitt said in a statement he will welcome the leaders of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole nations to begin discussions “to address and resolve the potential issues that have arisen” as a result of the ruling. Stitt didn’t say when those discussions might begin.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tribe leaders of the Cherokee and Chickasaw Nations want Congress to allow them to make agreements with the state of Oklahoma in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding criminal jurisdictions.

Image Credit: The National Judicial College

Earlier this year, in its landmark McGirt v. Oklahoma decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that, regarding the Major Crimes Act, much of the eastern part of our state remains as Native American land, since that land was never disestablished by Congress. So, how is McGirt playing out now in court rooms and legal offices across Oklahoma? And what does the immediate future hold vis a vis the McGirt ruling? Our guest is Aila Hoss, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A member of the Seminole Nation who was convicted in state court of sexually assaulting a child was found guilty by a federal jury on Friday.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in July that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal cases against Native Americans in parts of the state. The ruling came in a challenge from Jimcy McGirt, 72, to his 500-year prison sentence and conviction in 1997 for molesting a child.

After the Supreme Court decision, a federal grand jury indicted McGirt on three counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

A former Tulsa Police officer serving 15 years for manslaughter in the 2014 shooting of his daughter’s boyfriend will face a federal murder trial.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma announced on Friday Shannon Kepler is being charged in federal court with first-degree murder in the death of Jeremy Lake.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A task force appointed by Gov. Kevin Stitt made no specific recommendations Thursday in its report concerning the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared a swath of eastern Oklahoma counties remains an Indian reservation.

The report calls for consistent laws and regulations in the state governing taxation, zoning and business regulations, which Stitt said will be up to Congress to provide.

Facebook / Governor Kevin Stitt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved a request from Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration to allow the state, not tribal nations, to regulate environmental issues in Indian Country, even those lands that may be inside historical tribal reservation boundaries.