More: death penalty

Court upholds death penalty for only Native American on U.S. death row
Court upholds death penalty for only Native American on U.S. death row (May 4, 2020)

An appeals court upheld the death sentence for the only Native American on federal death row even though some judges questioned the necessity of the punishment.


Supreme Court churns along with Indian Country case amid coronavirus crisis
Supreme Court churns along with Indian Country case amid coronavirus crisis (March 30, 2020)

Millions of acres of Indian land are at stake as the nation's highest court adjusts to the coronavirus pandemic.


Indian inmate files opening brief in Supreme Court sovereignty case
Indian inmate files opening brief in Supreme Court sovereignty case (February 5, 2020)

Jimcy McGirt was sentenced to 500 years in prison, as well as life without parole, by the state of Oklahoma. His fate will be decided by the nation's highest court.


Supreme Court set to resolve Indian Country case on second try
Supreme Court set to resolve Indian Country case on second try (January 28, 2020)

Get ready for round two. The nation's highest court continues to prepare for another reservation boundary case after failing to reach a decision in the last one.


With execution on hold, Navajo inmate presses court on jury bias claim
With execution on hold, Navajo inmate presses court on jury bias claim (December 16, 2019)

A federal appeals court panel grappled with how – or why – convicted Navajo double-murderer Lezmond Mitchell could question jurors from his trial 16 years ago about possible racial bias in their deliberations.


Death row sentence overturned after lawyers ‘dropped the ball’ in case
Death row sentence overturned after lawyers ‘dropped the ball’ in case (December 3, 2019)

A federal appeals court overturned an death row inmate’s conviction, saying attorneys in his case 'dropped the ball' by failing to challenge the state’s evidence.


Still no sign of Supreme Court arguments in closely-watched Indian Country case
Still no sign of Supreme Court arguments in closely-watched Indian Country case (November 11, 2019)

The nation's highest court continues to keep Indian Country in the dark when it comes to one of the most contentious cases in recent history.


Supreme Court opens new term with little new Indian law activity
Supreme Court opens new term with little new Indian law activity (October 9, 2019)

So what's going on with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's reservation case? No one knows.


Court stays execution of Navajo man to hear claim of possible jury bias
Court stays execution of Navajo man to hear claim of possible jury bias (October 9, 2019)

A divided appeals court has stayed the scheduled execution of Navajo citizen Lezmond Mitchell, who is the only Native American on federal death row.


Waiting on the Supreme Court to return eastern Oklahoma to Indigenous nations
Waiting on the Supreme Court to return eastern Oklahoma to Indigenous nations (October 9, 2019)

All of Indian Country is waiting on the U.S. Supreme Court to do what is morally and legally right.


Cronkite News: Trump administration sets execution date for Navajo inmate
Cronkite News: Trump administration sets execution date for Navajo inmate (July 26, 2019)

Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American on federal death row, is being put to death on December 11, 2019, according to the Department of Justice.


Cronkite News: Supreme Court set to rule on high-profile death penalty case
Cronkite News: Supreme Court set to rule on high-profile death penalty case (July 8, 2019)

There is no question that James McKinney murdered two people in 1991. But should he be put to death for it?


Cronkite News: Supreme Court agrees to hear death penalty case
Cronkite News: Supreme Court agrees to hear death penalty case (June 13, 2019)

A decision from the nation's highest court could affect as many as 19 death row inmates in Arizona.


Indian Country endures another long wait for Supreme Court decision
Indian Country endures another long wait for Supreme Court decision (June 4, 2019)

It's been more than six months since oral arguments in a closely-watched tribal case but who's counting?


Trump administration argues against tribal sovereignty in Supreme Court case
Trump administration argues against tribal sovereignty in Supreme Court case (November 27, 2018)

The Trump administration's disjointed treatment of Indian Country was on full display as Native American Heritage Month came to a close.


Supreme Court set for major showdown in tribal sovereignty case
Supreme Court set for major showdown in tribal sovereignty case (October 11, 2018)

Oral arguments in a closely-watched reservation boundary case take place on November 27.


'All-out assault': Battle brews in Supreme Court sovereignty case
'All-out assault': Battle brews in Supreme Court sovereignty case (September 27, 2018)

Tribes across the nation, advocates for Native women and a bipartisan group of former federal prosecutors are taking a stand in one of the most consequential Supreme Court cases in recent history.


Muscogee Nation clashes with state in reservation boundary dispute
Muscogee Nation clashes with state in reservation boundary dispute (May 21, 2018)

The Muscogee Nation and the state of Oklahoma are headed into a historic sovereignty clash thanks to the Supreme Court.


Trump administration sides with industry in reservation boundary case
Trump administration sides with industry in reservation boundary case (April 3, 2018)

The Trump administration is siding with industry interests in a closely-watched reservation boundary case pending at the U.S. Supreme Court.


Oklahoma plans to ask court to reconsider ruling on Muscogee Nation boundaries
Oklahoma plans to ask court to reconsider ruling on Muscogee Nation boundaries (August 24, 2017)

A landmark decision that affirmed the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation is already having an impact on cases in Oklahoma.


Muscogee Nation welcomes decision affirming the boundaries of its reservation
Muscogee Nation welcomes decision affirming the boundaries of its reservation (August 9, 2017)

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is welcoming a federal court decision that confirms the boundaries of its reservation in Oklahoma remain intact.


Muscogee Nation citizen wins reversal of death penalty conviction in Oklahoma
Muscogee Nation citizen wins reversal of death penalty conviction in Oklahoma (August 8, 2017)

A citizen of the Muscogee Nation has secured a stunning court victory that not only reverses his death penalty conviction but also reaffirms the historic boundaries of his tribe's reservation.


Navajo Nation citizen faces death penalty for murder of tribal officer
Law
Navajo Nation citizen faces death penalty for murder of tribal officer (April 21, 2017)

Historically, the tribe has opposed capital punishment but views have changed in recent years in response to certain cases.


Ex-leader of Cedarville Rancheria sentenced to death for crimes
Ex-leader of Cedarville Rancheria sentenced to death for crimes (April 11, 2017)

Cherie Louise Rhoades was convicted of murdering four people, including her brother and niece, at the tribal offices in northern California.


Ex-leader of Cedarville Rancheria faces death sentence for murders
Ex-leader of Cedarville Rancheria faces death sentence for murders (January 11, 2017)

Cherie Rhoades murdered four people and injured two others in a February 2014 incident at the tribal offices.


Man charged with murder of Crow Tribe couple could face death
Law
Man charged with murder of Crow Tribe couple could face death (August 26, 2015)

A non-Indian man is now facing 12 charges in connection with a July 29 shooting on the reservation.


Nebraska ends death penalty in historic and close veto override
Nebraska ends death penalty in historic and close veto override (May 28, 2015)

Nationally, the death penalty has impacted Native Americans at disproportional rates.


Steve Russell: Crime gods continue to demand human sacrifices
Steve Russell: Crime gods continue to demand human sacrifices (September 24, 2014)

Steve Russell discusses problems with the death penalty in the American justice system.


Supreme Court addresses use of IQ test in death penalty case
Law
Supreme Court addresses use of IQ test in death penalty case (May 28, 2014)

Opinion from divided court fell largely along ideological lines.


Steve Russell: Botched executions are test of government trust
Steve Russell: Botched executions are test of government trust (May 1, 2014)

Steve Russell explores the botched execution of an African-American man in Oklahoma.


Indian  woman  spared  from death penalty under race bias law
Law
Indian woman spared from death penalty under race bias law (December 14, 2012)

A judge in North Carolina spared Christina Walters, a woman reported to be of Lumbee and Cherokee ancestry, under the state's Racial Justice Act. Walters was convicted of killing two...


Death row inmate cites a 'chaotic' upbringing on Navajo Nation
Law
Death row inmate cites a 'chaotic' upbringing on Navajo Nation (November 13, 2012)

A non-Indian death row inmate who lost a last minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday has said his life should be spared because he grew up on...


Canada again objects to death penalty for Blackfeet murders
Canada again objects to death penalty for Blackfeet murders (May 22, 2012)

The Canadian government is once again objecting to the death penalty for a man who was convicted of murdering two young Blackfeet Nation cousins. Ronald A. Smith, a Canadian citizen,...