Minority privilege: Oklahoma can’t prosecute tribal citizens, their own courts have to do so

Aug 3, 2020

Kelsey Lipp, a member of the Cherokee Nation who was charged with murder and robbery, saw her legal case turned upside down by a landmark Supreme Court ruling which limited Oklahoma’s ability to prosecute tribal citizens.

Kelsey Lipp was sitting in jail, charged with robbery and murder, when her lawyer walked into court with three pieces of paper and a new plan to get her case thrown out.

The evidence looked sparse: A letter identifying Ms. Lipp as a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a grainy photocopy of her tribal identification card. But under a landmark Supreme Court decision last month declaring that a huge patch of Oklahoma sits on a Native American reservation, those papers now meant that the state could not prosecute Ms. Lipp or thousands of other tribal citizens like her.

300

Recent Categories

View All