Colorado man accused of killing wife heads to trial
A judge ruled Friday there is enough evidence for the case to proceed against a southern Colorado man who was charged with first-degree murder nearly a year after his wife was reported missing on Mother’s Day 2020. Judge Patrick Murphy ruled Barry Morphew, 53, should stand trial for the presumed death of Suzanne Morphew, a 49-year-old mother of two daughters who was reported missing after she did not return from a bike ride near her home in the Salida area. The judge set cash bail at $500,000, and restricted Morphew from traveling outside of Chaffee County and having contact with several people involved in the case.news.yahoo.com
Oklahoma attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn landmark ruling on tribal sovereignty
Oklahoma's attorney general asked the Supreme Court on Friday to overturn its 2020 ruling affirming tribal sovereignty, arguing the decision led to a "criminal-justice crisis."Why it matters: The petition comes one day after Patrick Murphy, an Oklahoma death row inmate whose challenge led to the ruling, was convicted again in federal court for murder and kidnapping, AP reports.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeNewly appointed Oklanews.yahoo.com
Arrest warrant stays sealed for Colorado man in wife's death
An arrest warrant affidavit for a Colorado man charged with murder in the death of his wife who disappeared last year will remain sealed, a judge ruled Friday, saying that release of the document could harm the couple's daughters and witnesses in the case and hinder Barry Morphew's ability to prepare his own defense. Chaffee County District Court Judge Patrick Murphy ordered that the affidavit, which details investigators' reasons justifying Morphew's arrest in the disappearance of Suzanne Morphew, remain sealed until the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in August. A coalition of news media organizations, including The Associated Press, had petitioned the court for release of the 130-page document, arguing in part that the public has a presumptive right to know what led to Morphew's May 5 arrest.news.yahoo.com
Religion and the death penalty collide at the Supreme Court
The order from the high court follows two years in which inmates saw some rare success in bringing challenges based on the issue of chaplains in the death chamber. This time, liberal and conservative members of the court normally in disagreement over death penalty issues found common ground not on the death penalty itself but on the issue of religious freedom and how the death penalty is carried out. Dunham said most state execution protocols, which set who is present in the death chamber, do not mention spiritual advisers. For most of the modern history of the U.S. death penalty since the 1970s, spiritual advisers have not been present in execution chambers, he said. The Biden administration is still weighing how it will proceed in death penalty cases.
High court orders continued look at Texas death row case
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2020, file photo the Supreme Court is seen as sundown in Washington. The Supreme Court is telling a lower court to continue to consider a case brought by a Texas death row inmate protesting a policy that means a chaplain cant accompany him into the death chamber. That change came after the Supreme Court halted the execution of another inmate, Patrick Murphy, who requested a Buddhist adviser be allowed in the chamber. By changing the policy, Texas argued all inmates were being treated the same. Gutierrez is on death row for fatally stabbing an 85-year-old woman.
Justices rule swath of Oklahoma remains tribal reservation
WASHINGTON The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation, a decision that state and federal officials have warned could throw Oklahoma into chaos. Forced to leave their ancestral lands in Georgia and Alabama, the Creek Nation received assurances that their new lands in the West would be secure forever. ... Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law. The Creek Nation will also have greater jurisdiction over child welfare cases involving tribal members." Oklahoma state courts rejected his argument that his case does not belong in Oklahoma state courts and that federal prosecutors should instead handle his case.
US Supreme Court halts Texas execution over clergy question
The U.S. Supreme Court blocked Ruben Gutierrezs execution about an hour before he could have been executed. The Texas prison system last year banned clergy from the death chamber following a Supreme Court ruling that halted the execution of another inmate, Patrick Murphy, who had requested a Buddhist adviser be allowed in the chamber. Six executions scheduled in Texas for earlier this year were postponed by an appeals court or judges because of the outbreak. Gutierrezs attorneys had also sought a coronavirus-related delay but were turned down Friday by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops has filed a brief with the high court in support of Gutierrez.