Oklahoma appeals ruling overturning murder conviction

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Patrick Dwayne Murphy, Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter wants the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court that overturned a murder conviction on the grounds that Indian reservations in the state were never dissolved by Congress.

An appeal filed Wednesday says Congress effectively dismantled reservations when Oklahoma became a state and that the ruling throws thousands of convictions in eastern Oklahoma into question.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in August overturned the murder conviction and death penalty of Patrick Dwayne Murphy in McIntosh County. The court says Murphy is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and that the crime took place on what was established in 1866 as the Creek reservation.

In rejecting a requested rehearing, Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich wrote it is “a good candidate for Supreme Court review.”

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