Tulsa Attorney BlogDoes Matloff v. Wallace Affect My McGirt Case?

McGirt Has Greatly Impacted Oklahoma

Video Transcribed: Does Matloff v Wallace affect my McGirt case? I’m McGirt attorney James Wirth. We’re talking about the repercussions of a bombshell decision from the Oklahoma Court Of Criminal Appeals where it directly reverses itself in Bosse.

McGirt attorney in OklahomaIn Bosse it said that subject matter jurisdiction can never be waived, can be attacked at any time, so McGirt has to be applied retroactively, and now we’ve got the Matloff v Wallace decision that says the exact opposite and says we’re going to reframe this as a new procedural rule and that way we apply different guidelines in deciding whether it’s retroactive or not and when applying those, we find that we’ve got the authority to say it’s not retroactive.

We want to say it’s not retroactive because we’re really concerned about having to retry all of these cases and the potential that the people guilty of crimes may go free.

So that’s what they’ve done, complete reversal on that issue from the highest criminal appellate court in the state of Oklahoma. Bosse is still up on appeal potentially with the United States Supreme Court.

The state filed a petition for writ of certiorari just last week, August 6th, I believe, 2021 and the court has not yet decided whether to accept that or not. But now the defense bar, as opposed to just the state, maybe pushing them to accept that as well so we can get a final decision on this.

But the question comes down to how does this affects my case? And that depends on the status of your case is. So if you have a pending case where McGirt is applicable, you’re being charged with a crime, then it doesn’t affect anything. If you are on a deferred sentence and it doesn’t affect anything, that’s still a pending case.

They’re filing an application to accelerate under a deferred sentence. That is the court asserting jurisdiction at that time, so it doesn’t affect that case. Similarly, if you have a suspended sentence, they file an application to revoke, it shouldn’t affect any of that. If you’ve already been convicted and are on a direct appeal, shouldn’t affect that.

If you are on a direct appeal with the Oklahoma Court Of Criminal Appeals or appealing to the United States Supreme Court after that doesn’t affect that.

So this only affects cases where there is a final conviction that is either unappealed or all appeals have been exhausted. If that is the case, this new ruling says that we’re not going to apply McGirt retroactively to your case, we’re only applying it to pending cases because they’re framing it as a new rule of civil procedure, which would allow them the discretion to do that.

However, they’re kind of minimizing the fact that it is a subject matter jurisdiction issue, which means that the court lacked jurisdiction in the first place to do this. So it should be able to be attacked at any time.

Ultimately, these people are still being incarcerated and if they’re still being locked up based on a sentence that we know the court didn’t have authority to do, that is something that has to be addressed in my opinion, because subject matter jurisdiction is just so fundamental under the law, but the court is found what they believe is a way to avoid that and that is the decision that they made today.

So does it affect your case? If it’s a post-conviction relief case, then yes, it affects it. You need to talk to your attorney, call my office to see. It’s definitely going to cause some delays, depending on what happens with the United States Supreme Court. That’ll give us a better idea of how things are going to go in the future, but things are up in the air right now.

If you’ve got general questions about this, you can post them in the comment section below. If you’ve got specific questions, you’re going to want to talk only confidentially with an attorney. To get that scheduled, go online to MakeLawEasy.com.

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