Updated: Jun 29
"On the far end of the Trail of Tears was a promise. Forced to leave their ancestral lands in Georgia and Alabama, the Creek Nation received assurances that their new lands in the West would be secure forever. In exchange for ceding “all their land, East of the Mississippi river,” the U. S. government agreed by treaty that “[t]he Creek country west of the Mississippi shall be solemnly guarantied to the Creek Indians.”
Both parties settled on boundary lines for a new and “permanent home to the whole Creek nation,” located in what is now Oklahoma. The government further promised that “[no] State or Territory [shall] ever have a right to pass laws for the government of such Indians, but they shall be allowed to govern themselves.” 1832 Treaty, Article 14, 7 Statute 368.
Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law. Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word."
- Excerp from McGirt V. Oklahoma
In 1997, Jimcy McGirt was tried and convicted of First Degree Rape by Instrumentation, Lewd Molestation, and Forcible Sodomy in the District Court of Wagoner County. McGirt was convicted by a federal jury after evidence was presented proving the defendant sexually assaulted a four-year-old child. The victim, who is now in her late twenties, testified the defendant touched and penetrated her, made contact with her vulva with his mouth, and caused her to touch his penis with her hand with the intent to arouse or gratify his sexual desires. McGirt, age 72 at the time of his trial and from Holdenville, Oklahoma, was sentenced to life imprisonment and five years supervised release for two counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse In Indian Country, and one count of Abusive Sexual Contact in Indian Country in violation of Title 18, United States Code. The life sentences on each count were ordered to run concurrently. While serving two 500 year sentences and a sentence of life without parole in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, McGirt, an Native American, challenged his conviction, arguing the crimes occurred in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation and Congress had never disestablished the reservation, therefore, the State of Oklahoma did not have jurisdiction to prosecute him. On July 9, 2020, the United States Supreme Court agreed with McGirt and vacated his state convictions.
In the McGirt ruling, a 5-4 majority on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Muscogee Nation's reservation was never disestablished and that a large majority of Oklahoma remains Native American Reservation, and that major crimes involving American Indian victims or perpetrators on reservation land cannot be tried by state officials.
August 26th, 2021: A Federal Court upholds Jimcy McGirts conviction.
Shaun Michael Bosse Bosse, of Blanchard OK, is charged with first-degree murder for the killings of 25-year-old Katrina Griffin, a woman he had briefly dated and her two children in 2010 inside a mobile home near Dibble. They died when their mobile home was allegedly set ablaze by Bosse. Katrina Griffin, 24, and Christian Griffin, 8, were fatally stabbed. Chasity Hammer, 6, died of smoke inhalation after she was locked in a closet.
Prosecutors said Bosse stole from the woman and killed her and her children to avoid arrest for the thefts. He was found to have pawned more than 100 of the stolen items while the trailer was still burning.
June 26, 2011: Police recaptured Bosse after he escaped from a jail near Oklahoma City. 28-year-old at the time, Shaun Michael Bosse overpowered a guard at about 10 a.m. Sunday, took the guard hostage and then fled in a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix, which he later abandoned. "He was recaptured without incident.
August 31st, 2021: Bosse's conviction is vacated.
Oct, 7th, 2021: The court on Thursday turned down appeals by Shaun Michael Bosse. He had argued that the state had no jurisdiction to prosecute him because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in what’s known as the McGirt decision that limits state jurisdiction on tribal lands. Bosse’s victims were Native American and the crimes occurred on tribal lands. The state court has found that McGirt does not apply retroactively and that convictions and sentences were final before the McGirt ruling.
The U.S. Supreme Court could decide by early January whether to consider major questions about its 2020 ruling that the Muscogee (Creek) reservation was never disestablished, including whether to overturn the decision.
Numerous petitions filed by the state of Oklahoma seeking the court’s review have been scheduled for the Jan. 7 conference at which justices will discuss privately what new cases to take up. The state’s petitions seek full reversal of the decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma or, short of that, a ruling that the state can prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Native Americans on reservations.
At the same conference, the justices are scheduled to consider whether the McGirt decision was retroactive. If the court upholds its decision in McGirt, the retroactivity issue will determine how many people could have previous convictions overturned.
Announcements from the court about whether the justices will take up any of the McGirt-related cases could come within days of the Jan. 7 conference.
Supreme Court justices are reluctant to overturn court precedents. They will be considering Oklahoma’s petitions at the same time they are being asked to overturn decades-old precedents on abortion.
WHAT CASES THAT SIRENS HAS TALKED ABOUT HAS THE MCGIRT RULING AFFECTED?
Rachell Woodall - Tyler Jay Mullins
OK Girl Scout Murders - Gene Leroy Hart
Brenda Carter - Kalup Born
Debra Sue Carter - Glen Gore
Thelma Sauls - Jessica Moore
Lane Scott - KC Cole (haven't talked about yet, but will in the future when a convition is secured.)
QUESTION FOR THE ATTORNEY:
What lead up the McGirt Ruling? Was it a question of jurisdiction?
What the hell is everybody fighting over?
What does it mean to vacate a sentence? I mentioned what cases have been affected, but what exactly is happening to them?
Why did Bosse think that the ruling could apply to him if he commited murder and McGirt commited a totally different crime? Is it just because they are all major crimes?
What does it mean that they found that McGirt is NOT retroactive? (Talk about Supreme Court v. Oklahoma Supreme Court
What has to be met in order for a case to fall under McGirt? The perp, victim, and land has to be native? Or just one of the three?
Working for a major tribe, how do they divy up the cases? Does Major Crimes go to Federal?
The Federal Government and the State have CONCURRENT JURISDICTION to prosecute crimes committed by non-Indians against Indians in Indian Country. So, if a crime is commited by a non-native against a native, he can be tried by either the State of OK or the Federal Government. Natives who commit crimes still must be tried in Federal Court only.
http://www.okcca.net/cases/2021/OK-CR-30/ Bosse Opinion
Carrie White, Oklahoma Attorney & Prosecutor (Speaking under Alias)