Supreme Court throws out conviction of MS death row inmate


Flowers' convictions were overturned three times, twice for prosecutorial misconduct unrelated to jury selection.

While lawyers have broad discretion, the Supreme Court has banned peremptory challenges used exclusively on the basis of race, ethnicity or sex. As mentioned, Flowers has been tried six times for the same crime, and this is the fourth time his conviction has been reversed.

However the Mississippi Supreme Court docket upheld the 2010 conviction, and Plant life changed into as soon as sentenced to dying.

Curtis Giovanni Vegetation, left, listens to testimony in his third capital homicide trial in Winona, Fade out., February 6, 2004. The last two before his sixth ended in hung juries. Prosecutor Evans struck five Black prospective jurors. On the sixth trial, the Suppose struck 5 of six. "And it engaged in disparate remedy of black and white doable jurors, in particular by placing black doable juror Carolyn Wright".

On Friday, Thomas, joined by Neil Gorsuch, called the majority opinion "manifestly incorrect".

"There's a strong argument that the statute requires bail to be set for Mr. Flowers", said Tom Fortner, a prominent MS defense lawyer who has cited that law in another case.

"When Justice Thomas spoke near the end of the argument, it jolted the courtroom". "Although the court's opinion might boost its self-esteem, it also needlessly prolongs the suffering of four victims' families", he wrote. The Flowers case was the subject of the second season of the podcast In the Dark. A separate appeal is pending in state court questioning Flowers' actual guilt, citing in part evidence that reporters for "In the Dark" detailed. Evans changed into as soon as first elected chief prosecutor for the verbalize's Fifth Circuit Court docket District in 1992. "The "entire line of cases following Batson" is 'a misguided effort to remedy a general societal wrong by using the Constitution to regulate the traditionally discretionary exercise of peremptory challenges, '" Thomas wrote, adding that "black criminal defendants will rue the day that this Court ventured down this road that inexorably will lead to the elimination of peremptory strikes".

In that decision, the Supreme Court ruled that people can not be excluded from a jury due to their race.

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"The state's relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals strongly suggests that the state wanted to try Flowers before a jury with as few black jurors as possible, and ideally before an all-white jury". Thomas noted the court's majority "does not dispute that the evidence was sufficient to convict Flowers or that he was tried by an impartial jury".

Curtis Flowers was tried five times for the 1996 murder of four people inside a Winona, Mississippi furniture store. Stewart changed into as soon as taken to a sanatorium, where he later died.

Prosecutors have said Flowers was upset with the store owner for firing him and withholding his paycheck to cover the cost of batteries he had damaged. He has been dead bars for better than twenty years now. Flowers was convicted in 2010. Evans could not immediately be reached for comment.

"I think Doug will follow what the U.S. Supreme Court's directives are ...", Hood said.

Vegetation, who's African-American, used to be first convicted in 1997 for the 1996 execution-vogue murders of 4 folks at a furnishings retailer the set up he outdated to work.

"In the event that they said that, that's no longer correct", Evans said.

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