A MS prosecutor has tried and failed six times to send Curtis Flowers to the death chamber, with the latest trial conviction and death sentence overturned on Friday because of racial bias in jury selection.
Curtis Flowers, who is African-American, was tried five times for the 1996 murder of four people inside a furniture store in Winona, Mississippi. At each trial, he faced all-white juries. The majority noted that the Mississippi Supreme Court itself reversed Flowers' convictions in the first three trials, based on the prosecutor's misrepresentation of evidence to the jury and his deliberate elimination of black jurors.
Second, the prosecutor in the sixth trial "engaged in dramatically disparate questioning of black and white prospective jurors", apparently to find pretextual reasons to strike the black prospective jurors, Kavanaugh said. Now, that same prosecutor must decide whether to try Flowers a seventh time.
"Equal justice under law requires a criminal trial free of racial discrimination in the jury selection process", he added, citing the words inscribed on the front of the Supreme Court building. Evans has given non-racial reasons for striking black potential jurors.
Curtis Flowers of MS has stood trial six times in connection with a grisly quadruple homicide in a small town called Winona. The next two ended with hung juries and he was convicted again in his sixth. "We hope that the state of MS will finally disavow Doug Evans' misconduct, decline to pursue yet another trial and set Mr. Flowers free", Sheri Lynn Johnson, who represented Flowers at the Supreme Court, said in an emailed statement.
In his decision, Kavanaugh said: "The numbers speak loudly".
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He wrote: "If the Court's opinion these days has a redeeming quality, it is this: The Converse is completely free to convict Curtis Vegetation as soon as more".
"The Constitution forbids striking even a single prospective juror for a discriminatory objective", Kavanaugh said.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, appointed by Trump in 2017, and fellow conservative Justice Clarence Thomas dissented in the case. Writing for the two, Thomas, who is the court's, of course, only black justice, blamed the media attention for the court's decision.
Vegetation' attorney Sheri Lynn Johnson known as the resolution a "victory for each person" and told the order of MS to let the case bound. And although the Court's opinion might boost its self-esteem, it also needlessly prolongs the suffering of four victims' families.
His opinion pointed out that one excluded black juror in sing, Carolyn Wright, became as soon as "similarly located" to white jurors whom the prosecution did not oppose.
Plant life' attorneys argued before the U.S. Supreme Court docket that the district legal skilled's pattern of excluding black folk from juries constituted a violation of a key 1986 Supreme Court docket resolution, Batson v. Kentucky.
We turn now to news out of the Supreme Court. There were 11 white jurors and one black juror. He was convicted of murdering Bertha Tardy, 59, and store employees Carmen Rigby, 45, Robert Golden, 42, and 16-year-old Derrick "Bo Bo" Stewart, and sentenced to death.
"Section of Batson changed into as soon as about self belief of the group and the fairness of the criminal justice intention", Kavanaugh said at some level of oral argument in March. However, he denied trying to exclude African Americans from the jury.