U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Murder Conviction for Curtis Flower
A Mississippi prosecutor was accused of racial bias in jury selection in his sixth effort to convict Curtis Flowers of a 1996 quadruple murder. Because the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Flower’s conviction, Curtis will stand trial a seventh time.
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 2010 murder conviction for Curtis Flowers, an African-American man on death row in Mississippi for a 1996 murder of four people in a furniture store.
In a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Court sided with Curtis’ attorneys, who argued the prosecuting attorney excluded potential black jurors on the basis of race in a 2010 trial. Flowers’ attorneys argued that the Mississippi Supreme Court failed to properly apply standing precedent in determining whether people were unconstitutionally kept off a jury on the basis of race.
Flowers’ has stood trial six times prior to this case. The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned three earlier cases on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct – by excluding potential black jurors.
Justice Kavanaugh wrote, “In sum, the State’s pattern of striking black prospective jurors persisted from Flowers’ first trial through Flowers’ sixth trial.” Kavanaugh cited that “extraordinary facts of this case” was the primary decision in the justices’ opinion.
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