Oklahoma Presses High Court To Weigh 'Indian' Definition

By Andrew Westney (May 26, 2022, 6:57 PM EDT) -- Oklahoma has told the U.S. Supreme Court that the standards for determining whether a criminal defendant is deemed "Indian" under federal law aren't clear and that a Choctaw Tribe citizen found guilty of crimes under state law shouldn't have qualified to have his conviction overturned.

Robert Eric Wadkins — whose state court conviction for rape and kidnapping was vacated last year by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals — urged the high court this month to reject Oklahoma's petition, saying a multifactor test used to determine if a criminal defendant is Native American — "Indian" by definition in federal laws like the...

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