OIPA weighs in on Murphy case
By: Sarah Terry-Cobo, The Journal Record

OKLAHOMA CITY – A landmark appellate court decision on tribal criminal jurisdiction could have far-reaching effects on the state’s petroleum industry.

The U.S. Supreme Court should reverse the 10th Circuit Court’s ruling in the Murphy v. Royal case, said the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association’s A.J. Ferate. But the case’s civil implications are much less clear, said two tribal nation representatives and a law professor.

Ferate, the OIPA’s vice president of government affairs, filed an amicus brief on Friday, urging the high court to review the case and strike down the appellate court’s ruling. He argued that the Murphy v. Royal case, applied to oil and gas law, would make the regulatory scheme much more complicated and costly.

Patrick Murphy was convicted in 2000 for killing George Jacobs, a former lover of Murphy’s girlfriend. Murphy appealed the state of Oklahoma’s death sentence and his attorneys argued that the land where the alleged crime occurred was part of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s tribal land. Congress never disestablished the Muscogee (Creek)’s reservation and the state couldn’t pursue criminal charges for a Native American against another Native American on a reservation, his attorneys argued.

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