Supreme Court overturns 1996 murder conviction

A death row inmate has been given a reprieve, courtesy of the Supreme Court.

Curtis Flowers, who was tried six times on a 1996 quadruple murder charge, is now a free man after 23 years in limbo. 

The Case

Flowers had been convicted of murdering four people at a local store in Winona, Mississippi in 1996.

The Supreme Court case, however, was not about the actual murders but rather the conduct of the prosecutor in the case. In all, this case had been tried six times.

Three of the trials were dismissed because of prosecutor misconduct. Two ended due to a hung jury. The sixth time was the charm and Flowers was convicted in 2010.

However, the prosecuting attorney did everything in his power to block black jurors from hearing the case.

The Dismissal

The report stated the prosecuting attorney used every peremptory strike he had to block black individuals from being selected as jurors.

That, according to most of the Supreme Court justices, proves the prosecuting attorney bent the rules to try to ensure a conviction.

Only two justices on the court saw things differently, with both Justice Thomas and Justice Gorsuch dissenting.

In his dissenting opinion, Thomas stated, “Today’s decision distorts the record of this case, eviscerates our standard of review, and vacates four murder convictions because the State struck a juror who would have been stricken by any competent attorney. I dissent.”

While Flowers gets to walk right now, that is not likely to stand for long.

SCOTUS never actually addressed the crime itself, which means Flowers can be tried again for the murders.

Share on facebook
Share to Facebook

Latest News