TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – Jimcy McGirt, the subject of a pivotal U.S. Supreme Court case that determined legal authority on tribal land in Oklahoma, was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.
McGirt, 72, received a sentence of life in prison and five years of supervised release for two counts of aggravated sexual abuse, according to Tulsa-based news station KTUL.
He was originally convicted in 1997 for raping and sexually abusing a four year old. He was sentenced to two 500-year sentences.
McGirt challenged the convictions, saying because the crime occurred in the Muscogee Nation Reservation territory, the state of Oklahoma did not have authority to prosecute him.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on July 9, 2020, that Oklahoma prosecutors lack authority to pursue criminal cases against American Indian defendants in parts of Eastern Oklahoma that include most of Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city.
The high court decided that the Muscogee (Creek) reservation was never disestablished.
The state vacated McGirt’s convictions. The United States Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma subsequently charged him with the crimes that led to his previous convictions.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation released the following statement regarding McGirt’s latest sentencing:
“Today’s federal sentencing of Jimcy McGirt to life in prison with no parole marks justice served in a new era of affirmed tribal sovereignty and jurisdictional clarity.
We commend the diligence of the U.S. attorneys in prosecuting this case and the federal judge for preserving justice for the victims of these heinous crimes.
The sentencing of Jimcy McGirt to three life sentences with no parole – and the U.S. attorney’s actions last year to ensure this man’s uninterrupted imprisonment – is a prime example of an orderly process that preserves public safety and delivers justice in the lawful, appropriate venue.
What is here for all to see today is an affirming reality that flies in the face of a continuing dissonance of chaos and fear-mongering from the State of Oklahoma. This case, along with others, proves that implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in the landmark case that bears McGirt’s name is working for all Oklahomans.”MUSCOGEE (CREEK) NATION