U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Curtis Flowers Case

WASHINGTON, DC (Ben Caxton) — Curtis Flowers, who is on Death Row in Mississippi after it took prosecutors six times to obtain a conviction, is getting another day in court. This time, in Washington. The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear whether Mississippi’s highest court erred in its review of jury makeup in Flowers’ last trial. Flowers is facing death after being convicted as the killer in a 1996 quadruple murder at Tardy Furniture in Winona. though police fingered Flowers as the prime suspect initially, it took seven months before charges were brought and he was arrested. Lawyers for Flowers and numerous investigative reports say there’s no direct evidence against Flowers and no reliable evidence placing him near the scene or linking him to the murder weapon that has never been found. Three jailhouse informants who told juries Flowers was the culprit all recanted their stories. And in the six trials, District Attorney Doug Evans used the overwhelming majority of his strikes in jury selection against black potential jurors – including twice when judges found that he’d intentionally struck black jurors because of their race, which is unconstitutional. The two times Flowers was judged by a jury with more than one African-American, the juries deadlocked. In the four trials in which he faced an all-white jury or one with 11 whites, he was convicted. An APM Reports investigation of Evans jury-picking history revealed that in 225 trials in which full data was available from 1992 through 2017 Evans’ office struck 50 percent of the eligible black jurors but just 11 percent of white jurors.

 


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