NALSA Helping Inmate Seek Relief from Execution

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

TU’s Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) is assisting with the appeal on a federal habeas corpus petition seeking relief from execution for Oklahoma inmate Patrick Dwayne Murphy, a Creek Nation citizen.

At issue is whether the federal government or Oklahoma should have jurisdiction over a crime that occurred within the Creek reservation. If the appeal succeeds, the petitioner will be ineligible for the death penalty, and the decision could have a substantial impact on tribal territorial sovereignty in Oklahoma. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will be addressing the Indian law jurisdiction issues in upcoming months. A team of law students from TU and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University are researching Indian law and preparing a brief for Murphy’s attorney.

Scott Been