Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this collection.
McGirt v. Oklahoma: Supreme Court decision and aftermath

McGirt v. Oklahoma: Supreme Court decision and aftermath

  • Updated
  • 0

In July 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation.

The decision meant that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal cases against American Indian defendants in parts of Oklahoma that include most of Tulsa.

The case, McGirt v. Oklahoma, argued by telephone in May 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, revolved around an appeal by an American Indian, 71-year-old Jimcy McGirt, who claimed state courts had no authority to try him for a crime committed on reservation land that belongs to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Jimcy McGirt was serving a 500-year prison sentence for molesting a child.

Here's a look back at the decision and aftermath:


Related to this collection

Citing a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued last year involving the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals found Thursday the state lacked jurisdiction to prosecute a man currently on death row because the Chickasaw Nation was not formally disestablished.

Court ruling means hundreds of state criminal cases will be shifted to tribal or federal courts

McGirt v. Oklahoma: Supreme Court decision and aftermath

A late addition to the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package temporarily prevents states from cutting taxes, which at first glance might appear to be a problem for House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, who introduced two bills to provide a more than $500 million tax cut over the coming years.

The order issued Friday temporarily prevents death-row inmate Shaun Bosse, who killed a woman and her two children in McClain County in 2010, from being transferred from state to federal custody while the court it considers new arguments from the state related to the fallout from the McGirt case. 

After government testimony concluded, U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell denied a motion from Kepler’s defense to dismiss the case against him on the basis of insufficient evidence.

The action came after the details of a project between the ODOT and the Chickasaw Nation came into question. The tribe is putting in $10 million into a $17 million project for a new interchange at Interstate 35 and Oklahoma 9 to alleviate congestion near its Riverwind Casino.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell shot down Kyle Quentin Sago's plea agreement during what would have been a sentencing hearing Tuesday, citing concerns about whether the homicide of Daniel Morgan should have been pleaded down from first-degree murder.