A black Mississippi man freed after almost 23 years behind bars filed a lawsuit Friday in opposition to the white district lawyer who tried him six instances for a similar 1996 quadruple homicide.
Curtis Flowers was launched from jail in 2019 after the US Supreme Court docket overturned the conviction and dying sentence from his sixth trial related to the taking pictures at a furnishings retailer that left 4 folks lifeless.
“Curtis Flowers by no means ought to have been charged,” his lawyer mentioned in an announcement Friday.
Flowers is suing Montgomery County District Lawyer Doug Evans and three different investigators for what the excessive courtroom mentioned was an unconstitutional sample of excluding black jurors in Flowers’ trials.
The swimsuit alleges the prosecutors pressured witnesses “to manufacture claims about seeing Mr. Flowers specifically places on the day of the murders,” whereas ignoring different suspects.
“The prosecution was tainted all through by racial discrimination and repeated misconduct,” Rob McDuff of the Mississippi Heart for Justice wrote. “This lawsuit seeks accountability for that misconduct.”
The state of Mississippi was ordered to pay Flowers $500,000 for wrongful imprisonment. The lawsuit doesn’t search particular damages; compensation can be determined by a jury.
The homicide case is now within the palms of Lawyer Basic Lynn Fitch, who mentioned final yr the proof was too weak to place Flowers on trial for the seventh time.
Double jeopardy didn’t apply in Flowers’ case as a result of three convictions had been thrown on attraction out as a result of prosecutorial errors, and two led to mistrials, that means the defendant wasn’t technically being retried for a similar crime. As an alternative, he primarily underwent six first trials.
Some relations of the victims have maintained Flowers is responsible. Protection attorneys argue the bloodbath was the work of a educated killer, not the then-26-year-old who had no prison file.
The 2018 public radio podcast “In The Darkish” interviewed a jailhouse snitch who recanted his testimony that Flowers had confessed to him that he was certainly the killer.
Odell Hallmon informed the courtroom “a bunch of fantasies, a bunch of mendacity,” he mentioned on this system.
With Put up wires