OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s attorney general said he will fight any challenges by inmates to gain freedom after the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal cases against American Indian defendants in parts of the state that includes mostly Tulsa.
The high court’s decision involved Jimcy McGirt, 71, who is serving a 500-year prison sentence for molesting a child. The court ruled that McGirt shouldn’t have been tried in state court because he is an American Indian and the crime was committed on Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s reservation. He could potentially be retried in federal court.
“The McGirt case does not constitute a get-out-of-prison-free card,” Attorney General Mike Hunter said at a news conference Monday.
Creek Nation Principal Chief David Hill said Monday: “We wholeheartedly support a rigorous process. The Supreme Court decision is all about fixing what was broken in the past to build a better system, not giving criminals a free pass. The simple reality is that today, as before, if you call the police they will come. If you commit a crime, you’ll be brought to justice.”