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URGENT: US Supreme Court overturns Curtis Flowers Murder Conviction by 7-2 vote

Friday, June 21, 2019, 9:05 am News Flash Archive

A few minutes ago, the United States Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Curtis Flowers in the Tardy Furniture store murders.

The Court ruled that the prosecution had, once again, illegally excluded African American persons from the jury that convicted Flowers for the killings in 2010. Flowers has been imprisoned for over 22 years since his arrest in 1996.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the opinion, joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, and Chief Justice John Roberts.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch dissented.

Flowers has now been tried six times for the July 16, 1996 quadruple murders in Winona, with two trials ending in mistrials, and four trials ending in convictions. Three of the convictions were overturned by the state supreme court for prosecutorial misconduct, and now the sixth trial (and 4th conviction) has been overturned by the US Supreme Court.

Particularly troubling was the arrest and prosecution of James Bibbs, the lone hold-out juror in the fifth trial, on charges of attempting to taint the jury during its deliberations. The Attorney General ultimately had the charges dismissed due to lack of evidence. Some have argued that this act sent a harsh message to intimidate potential black jurors in future trials.

But an in-depth investigative report by the American Public Media's "In the Dark" podcast uncovered a number of problems with the evidence against Flowers, including recantations of key testimony, lost evidence, and a pattern of illegal racially-biased striking of jurors by District Attorney Doug Evans. That series may be heard here: In the Dark Season Two: The Curtis Flowers Case

The Supreme Court decision may be viewed here: Curtis Flowers Supreme Court Decision

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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