Oklahoma Federal Court Denies Discovery into Allegation of Collusion between Federal and State Prosecutors in Indian Country Murder Case

Here are materials in United States v. Buzzard (N.D. Okla.):

Colorado Federal Court Refuses to Accept Plea Deal for Lesser Included Offense in Major Crimes Act Prosecution

Here are the materials in United States v. English (D. Colo.):

1 Indictment

33 Joint Memorandum in Support of Plea Agreement

36 Magistrate Minute Order: “This Court does not have jurisdiction over the charge in the proposed Plea Agreement. . . .”

37 Government Objection

39 English Objection

41 DCT Order

An excerpt:

The Major Crimes Act represents one way in which Congress has permitted federal courts to exercise jurisdiction over crimes occurring on tribal lands which otherwise would be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the tribal courts. Now codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1153, the Act gives federal courts exclusive federal jurisdiction over certain enumerated felonies occurring between Indians in Indian Country, including, specifically, “a felony assault under section 113.” 18 U.S.C.A. § 1153(a). See also United States v. Burch, 169 F.3d 666, 669 (10th Cir. 1999). Prosecution of crimes not expressly designated in section 1153, including, specifically, simple assault – is reserved to the tribal courts, in recognition of their inherent sovereignty over such matters. United States v. Antelope, 430 U.S. 641, 643 n.1, 97 S.Ct. 1395, 1397 n.1, 51 L.Ed.2d 701 (1977); United States v. Quiver, 241 U.S. 602, 700-01, 36 S.Ct. 699, 605-06, 60 L.Ed. 1196 (1916); United States v. Burch, 169 F.3d 666, 668-69 (10thCir. 1999). See also United States v. Lara, 541 U.S. 193, 199, 124 S.Ct. 1628, 1632-33, 158 L.Ed.2d 420 (2004) (“[25 U.S.C. § 1301] says that it ‘recognize[s] and affirm[s]’ in each tribe the ‘inherent’ tribal power … to prosecute nonmember Indians for misdemeanors.”).

Student Note on the Exclusionary Rule and the Indian Civil Rights Act

Seth E. Montgomery has published “ICRA’s Exclusionary Rule” in the Boston University Law Review.

The abstract:

The Fourth Amendment does not limit the actions of the 574 federally recognized Indian tribes. In an affront to tribal sovereignty, Congress enacted the Indian Civil Rights Act (“ICRA”) in 1968. The ICRA provides limitations on tribal governments that parallel the Bill of Rights. For example, the ICRA provides that no Indian tribe shall “violate the right of the people to be secure . . . against unreasonable search and seizures.”
But the ICRA—like the Fourth Amendment—does not state what happens when police obtain evidence from an unreasonable search or seizure and prosecutors seek to introduce that evidence in a criminal trial. Federal courts have developed an exclusionary rule for evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment: subject to myriad exceptions, if police obtain evidence unconstitutionally, then that evidence may not be introduced in a criminal trial. This Note asks whether the ICRA’s search-and-seizure provision incorporates such an exclusionary rule.
This Note advances an interpretation of the ICRA based on the statute’s 1968 meaning: the ICRA’s text compels an exclusionary rule, conditioned on deterring tribal police misconduct, but not subject to the myriad exceptions that apply in the Fourth Amendment context. And, with important qualifications, this Note explains why a court applying this interpretation should turn to tribal law. A deterrence-based exclusionary rule requires courts to consider whether exclusion deters police misconduct, how to measure the benefits of deterrence against the harms of excluding probative evidence, and how much deterrence is necessary for exclusion. Comity, self-determination, and federalism all compel deference to tribal law in answering these questions. Thus, tribal law can and should guide the application of the ICRA’s search-and-seizure provision in a criminal prosecution.
This Note contributes to the legal and academic landscape in three ways. First, it adds to an ever-growing body of literature advocating for federal and state deference to tribal law. Second, this Note fills a gap in the literature by addressing a remedy that the ICRA does not expressly provide—namely, exclusion. Most academics and courts describe federal habeas review as the ICRA’s only available remedy outside of tribal courts. Finally, this Note provides a roadmap for litigants arguing for or against a suppression motion based on an ICRA violation. Only a limited number of reported cases address whether the ICRA incorporates an exclusionary rule, and even fewer provide a full analysis. This Note thus answers an open question in a way that harmonizes constitutional criminal procedure with deference to tribal legal precedent.

Tenth Circuit Briefs in United States v. Murphy [yes, that Murphy]


Mr. Murphy prevailed against Oklahoma in the Supreme Court following the McGirt decision, but was immediately prosecuted and convicted by the United States. He is now challenging the federal government’s delay.

Oklahoma Federal Court [with New Mexico Judge] Dismisses Cherokee Citizens Claims against Oklahoma on State Court Exhaustion Grounds

Here are the materials in Pickup v. District Court of Nowata County (N.D. Okla.):

18 Counties Motion to Dismiss

24 District Attorneys Motion to Dismiss

27 Towns Motion to Dismiss

70 Clerks Motion to Dismiss

71 Clerk Edwards Motion to Dismiss

72 Clerk Newberry Motion to Dismiss

75 Opposition to 18

76 Opposition to 24

77 Opposition to 27

78 Opposition to 70

79 Opposition to 71

80 Opposition to 72

84 Reply in Support of 18

85 Reply in Support of 24

86 Reply in Support of 27

87 Owasso Motion to Dismiss

88 Reply in Support of 70

89 Reply in Support of 71

90 Reply in Support of 72

94 Opposition to 87

95 Reply in Support of 87

143 Tribes Motion to File Amicus Brief

143-1 Amicus Brief

170 DCT Order

Complaint here.