The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments for the second time in a case involving an Oklahoma man who is on death row for a 1999 McIntosh County murder.
Patrick Murphy argues the state had no right to prosecute him because he's Native American and the crime happened on tribal land. The Justices will hear the second round of arguments in October.
This ruling could expand what is known to be Indian Country, impacting Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Indian Country spans 11 counties in Oklahoma, including Tulsa County, which means cases tried here could be impacted if the ruling stands.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to reargue the case:
“This case has implications for millions of Oklahomans, both tribal and non-tribal citizens. It is vital to the state that the Supreme Court justices make the right decision on behalf of all Oklahomans. While today’s court action does not alter the status quo, it demonstrates the care and consideration the justices are putting into this case. Meanwhile, my team and I will continue proactively working with our tribal partners on our shared interests. A top priority for our office is to continue to preserve and grow our unity and prosperity.
“We look forward to the opportunity to again argue our case and ensure justice is served for the family and loved ones of George Jacobs, the Oklahoman and member of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation, who was brutally murdered by Patrick Murphy.”