Tribes want Congress to allow criminal justice compacts with Oklahoma in wake of landmark McGirt ruling

Some tribal representatives want Congress to allow them to compact with the state to implement a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case regarding criminal jurisdiction. Gov. Kevin Stitt is seen here in 2020 talking about the state's gaming compact with tribes. THE OKLAHOMAN

OKLAHOMA CITY � Some tribal representatives want Congress to allow them to compact with the state to deal with the implementation of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case regarding criminal jurisdiction.

Jimcy McGirt won a U.S. Supreme Court case in July that challenged his state court child sex-abuse conviction on grounds that the state of Oklahoma didn't have jurisdiction to have prosecuted him.

The Supreme Court ruled that major crimes committed by or upon American Indians within the 1860s-era boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation should be tried in federal rather than state court because Congress never disestablished the reservation.

The reservation includes the city of Tulsa and much of Tulsa County.

"The decision in McGirt substantially changes how crime is prosecuted throughout eastern Oklahoma," said Sara Hill, Cherokee Nation attorney general.

Other tribes, including the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws and Seminoles, say the ruling applies to their reservations, as well.

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