In another McGirt-related criminal court decision case, Oklahoma death row inmate Shaun Bosse will get a new trial. This time in federal court.
"I am horribly disappointed. This is a terrible day. I'm devastated for the family," said McClain County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.
Bosse, a non-Native American, was convicted in 2012 of killing Katrina Griffin and her two young children, Christian Griffin and Chasity Hammer, on July 23, 2010, at the family’s mobile home near Dibble.
In accordance with the jury’s verdict, Bosse was sentenced to death for the murders, plus 35 years in prison and a $25,000 fine for arson.
The sentence was imposed on December 18, 2012, and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction in October 2015.
More recently, Bosse sought to have his three murder convictions in McClain County overturned in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year in the McGirt v. Oklahoma case.
In seeking post-conviction relief, Bosse claimed he was wrongly tried in state court because the crime was committed on the Chickasaw Nation’s reservation.
Although Bosse is Caucasian, he also asked for his convictions to be overturned because his three victims were Native American.
The McGirt ruling established that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation dating back to 1866 had never been disestablished by Congress, meaning major crimes involving American Indians that occur within the reservation were in the jurisdiction of federal or tribal government rather than state government.
On Thursday, the Court of Criminal Appeals concurred with the ruling and granted Bosse's request for post-conviction relief.
Mashburn fought to retain jurisdiction in the case. Mashburn requested the court define precise blood quantum in order to avoid a “jurisdictional loophole.”
"We fought in good faith and came up with different arguments to uphold the conviction. Unfortunately, the Court of Criminal Appeals was put in the position by the Supreme Court's decision. So, I under the ruling but it is certainly disappointing," Mashburn said.
In the next 20 days, the state's case against Bosse will be dismissed. Bosse will be transferred to federal custody, where he will face charges.