Jimcy McGirt To Be Released From Prison After Plea Deal Gives Him Credit For Time Served

Jimcy McGirt, the man at the center of a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2020, will soon be released from prison. On Thursday, a judge sentenced McGirt to 30 years in prison for raping a 5-year-old in 1996, but his plea deal gives him credit for time served.

Thursday, May 2nd 2024, 6:34 pm

By: News On 6


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Jimcy McGirt, the man at the center of a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2020, will soon be released from prison.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced Thursday that the 75-year-old was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but a plea deal will give him credit for time served.

Since he has served 85 percent of that time since being found guilty in June of 1997, he will be released soon.

The attorney's office said McGirt pleaded guilty to one count of Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country and as part of that plea agreement, confessed to sexually abusing a child in August 1996.

“Today’s sentence closes a chapter on a perpetrator who has attempted to evade the legal consequences of his actions at every turn,” said United States Attorney Christopher J. Wilson. “For the victim, we hope it is but a beginning. To go into a courtroom—to fight to be heard and to be believed—that takes courage. To do so over three decades requires unimaginable fortitude of spirit. It is our hope the guilty plea and the sentence imposed bring some solace and comfort to those most effected by the defendant’s crimes.”

The McGirt v. Oklahoma case ruled that the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA) did not have jurisdiction over cases involving Native Americans on tribal land. 

The ruling said most of eastern and southeastern Oklahoma remains on tribal land and that it was never disestablished by Congress as part of the Oklahoma Enabling Act of 1906. 

On Thursday, a court ruled that McGirt has already served a 30-year sentence beginning in 1997 for child sex crimes and that he will be released in 30 days. 

In 1997, the Wagoner County District Court found McGirt guilty of three counts of sex crimes, sentencing him to 500 years in prison. 

McGirt appealed to the OCCA which denied his petition, so he escalated to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The court then reversed the OCCA's ruling with a 5-4 vote, meaning Oklahoma prosecutors have no authority to pursue criminal cases against American Indian defendants in parts of Oklahoma on tribal land. 

In September 2020 he was charged in federal court and in August 2021, McGirt was sentenced to life in federal prison by the eastern district of Oklahoma for sexually abusing a child.

In June 2023, an appeals court then determined that the jury in the 2020 court case had been given bad instructions, which landed him a third federal trial with a decision coming on Thursday. 

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