August 19, 2022

Supreme Court rules states can prosecute non-Native Americans who live on tribal land

The Supreme Court ruled that Oklahoma can prosecute non-Native Americans who commit crimes against Native Americans on tribal lands.

The case reversed a prior ruling that will expand the state’s authority in such cases, according to the ruling on Wednesday.

“The case stemmed from a state court decision to throw out the conviction against Victor Castro-Huerta, who is not Native American. Oklahoma prosecutors charged Castro-Huerta with malnourishment of his disabled 5-year-old stepdaughter, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians,” Fox News reported.

“Castro-Huerta has since pleaded guilty to a federal child neglect charge in exchange for a seven-year prison term, though he has not been formally sentenced,” it added.

The close 5-4 ruling will not be taken well by some tribal leaders but was deemed necessary for limited cases.

The left may seek to make the case about race, but it instead focuses on laws on tribal lands regarding non-tribal individuals who commit crimes in a way that should be more helpful to the state of Oklahoma.

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