OK AG Hunter to file petition with U.S. Supreme Court arguing state should have jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit crime on reservations

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is preparing to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court after the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision to place a 45-day stay on the state’s case against death row inmate Shaun Bosse.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals’ issued the stay on Thursday, which keeps Bosse in state custody on Oklahoma’s death row, instead of transferring him to federal custody, which was previously mandated by the Court of Criminal Appeals, according to a news release from Hunter’s office.

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Shaun Bosse

Bosse was sentenced to death in 2012 for the murder of 24-year-old Katrina Griffin and her eight-year-old son and six-year-old daughter. Their bodies were found in a burning mobile home near Dibble in 2010.

The Court of Criminal Appeals threw out Bosse’s conviction in March because the murders occurred within the Chickasaw Nation reservation and all three victims were members of the Chickasaw nation. The court cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling from July 9, 2020, in their decision to throw out the conviction.

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Katrina Griffin and her two young children

The Supreme Court stated in the McGirt ruling 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.

However, Hunter argues that the state should have jurisdiction over Bosse, a non-Native American, as well as other non-Native Americans even if they committed their crimes on tribal reservation land.

Hunter issued the following statement:

“I want to commend Solicitor General Mithun Mansinghani and Assistant Attorney General Caroline Hunt for their exceptional arguments in front of the court today. They illustrated precisely why a convicted murderer like Shaun Bosse should remain on Oklahoma death row, and why he doesn’t deserve the chance of a retrial. The 45-day stay will allow us time to file for a further stay from the U.S. Supreme Court so they have time to consider whether to grant us the opportunity to argue our case. The McGirt decision has created confusion across governments, and many unanswered questions that can only be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

While we prepare our petition, my heart remains with the victims, including a family member of one of Bosse’s victims who was in the courtroom today. I want to assure them we are doing everything in our power to uphold these convictions and deliver the justice they deserve.”

OKLAHOMA ATTORNEY GENERAL MIKE HUNTER

Hunter’s office has drafted a request for a further stay from the Supreme Court, which they plan to file in the coming days.

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