Entries tagged with “Curtis Flowers

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Oct 20, 2020

Keep Your Head Up and Don’t Give Up’ — Exoneree Curtis Flowers Gives an Illuminating First Interview to the In the Dark Podcast

In his first inter­view since his September 24, 2020 exon­er­a­tion, for­mer Mississippi death-row pris­on­er Curtis Flowers (pic­tured) spoke with In the Dark pod­cast host and lead reporter Madeleine Baran about his 24-year jour­ney to free­dom after hav­ing being framed, tried six times, sent to death row and final­ly freed for a mur­der every­one involved knew full well he had nev­er committed.

Policy Issues

Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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Dec 20, 2023

Batson Relief for Another Mississippi Prisoner Prosecuted by Doug Evans

On December 12, 2023 U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills over­turned Terry Pitchford’s death sen­tence and ordered Mississippi to retry him in 6 months or release him from cus­tody. Judge Mills found that the orig­i­nal tri­al judge failed to allow the defense to prop­er­ly chal­lenge the exclu­sion of Black jurors by now-retired District Attorney Doug Evans, the same pros­e­cu­tor who pros­e­cut­ed Curtis Flowers. This court can­not ignore the notion that Pitchford was seem­ing­ly giv­en no chance to rebut the state’s expla­na­tions and prove pur­pose­ful dis­crim­i­na­tion,” Judge Mills wrote.

Policy Issues

Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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Nov 19, 2019

Civil Rights Groups File Class Action Lawsuit Against Mississippi Prosecutor Over Systemic Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection

Two civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tions have filed a class action law­suit against Mississippi pros­e­cu­tor Doug Evans (pic­tured) seek­ing an end to what they describe as a pol­i­cy, cus­tom, and usage of racial­ly dis­crim­i­na­to­ry jury selec­tion.” The law­suit, filed by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the MacArthur Justice Center on November 18, 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on behalf of black prospec­tive jurors in Mississippi’s Fifth Circuit Court District, asks the fed­er­al court to issue an injunc­tion against Evans to bar his office from…

Policy Issues

Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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Jan 08, 2020

Controversial Mississippi Prosecutor Recuses Himself from Further Involvement in Curtis Flowers’ Case

After hav­ing been rebuked by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2019 for his pat­tern of racial­ly biased jury selec­tion in the cap­i­tal pros­e­cu­tions of Curtis Flowers and sued in fed­er­al court to bar future race-based jury strikes, Mississippi pros­e­cu­tor Doug Evans has vol­un­tar­i­ly recused him­self from future involve­ment in Flowers’ case.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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Sep 08, 2020

Curtis Flowers Exonerated in Mississippi After Attorney General Drops All Charges

After six tri­als marred by pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al mis­con­duct and racial prej­u­dice, draw­ing a scathing rebuke from the U.S. Supreme Court, for­mer Mississippi death-row pris­on­er Curtis Flowers (pic­tured with the ankle mon­i­tor that had kept him under house arrest) has been exonerated.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Dec 13, 2022

Curtis Flowers Prosecutor Defeated in Bid to Become County Judge

District Attorney Doug Evans, who gained noto­ri­ety for his mis­con­duct in the six tri­al of Curtis Flowers, was defeat­ed November 29, 2022 in his attempt to become a Mississippi Circuit Court judge. In a runoff elec­tion, Winona Municipal Court Judge Alan Devo” Lancaster (pic­tured) defeat­ed Evans for Mississippi Fifth District Circuit Court judge. Based on unof­fi­cial elec­tion results, Lancaster received 70% of the vote while Evans received 30% of the vote.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Race

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Sep 13, 2021

Death-Row Exoneree Curtis Flowers Sues Mississippi Prosecutor Who Prosecuted Him Six Times

Former Mississippi death-row pris­on­er Curtis Flowers (pic­tured), who was exon­er­at­ed in 2020, is suing the offi­cials whose mis­con­duct led to his arrest and repeat­ed wrong­ful con­vic­tion. Flowers was tried six times and spent 23 years wrong­ful­ly incar­cer­at­ed for a quadru­ple mur­der in a white-owned fur­ni­ture store in Winona, Mississippi. In a com­plaint filed September 3, 2021 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Flowers alleges that his tri­al pros­e­cu­tor, an inves­ti­ga­tor in the prosecutor’s office, and two police offi­cers involved in the inves­ti­ga­tion engaged in per­va­sive misconduct…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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United States Supreme Court

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Jul 12, 2023

Doug Evans, the District Attorney Who Prosecuted Curtis Flowers Six Times, Retires

Doug Evans, the District Attorney who tried death row exoneree Curtis Flowers for mur­der six times, is retir­ing. Mr. Flowers received four death sen­tences, but each con­vic­tion was over­turned when courts found that Evans had ille­gal­ly exclud­ed Black jurors from the jury pool.

Policy Issues

Race

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United States Supreme Court

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Mar 15, 2019

Flowers v. Mississippi: Oral Argument Briefing

On June 21, 2019, the United States Supreme Court vacat­ed Curtis Flowers’ con­vic­tion in a 7 – 2 deci­sion. For more infor­ma­tion about the opin­ion, read DPIC’s sum­ma­ry here. See also Supreme Court Vacates Conviction in Mississippi Death Penalty Case Finding Race Discrimination in Jury Selection.

Policy Issues

Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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United States Supreme Court

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Mar 21, 2019

Justices Express Concern About Disturbing History” of Race Bias in Mississippi Death Penalty Case

The U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to grant a new tri­al to Curtis Flowers (pic­tured), an African-American death-row pris­on­er tried six times for the same mur­ders by a white Mississippi pros­e­cu­tor who struck near­ly every black juror from ser­vice in each of the tri­als. During oral argu­ment in Flowers v. Mississippi on March 20, 2019, eight jus­tices expressed con­cern that Flowers had been denied a fair tri­al as a result of race dis­crim­i­na­tion in jury selec­tion in his case. Justice Samuel Alito called the case very trou­bling” and Justice Brett…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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Dec 16, 2019

Mississippi Judge Frees Curtis Flowers on Bail After Six Trials and 23 Years in Jail

A Mississippi tri­al judge has released Curtis Flowers on $250,000 bail, while pros­e­cu­tors decide whether to attempt to try him a sev­enth time for a quadru­ple mur­der he has long main­tained he did not com­mit. Flowers (pic­tured right, with defense co-coun­sel Henderson Hill) was freed on December 16, 2019, after an anony­mous donor post­ed his bond. He had spent the last 23 years in jail, most of it on death row.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Sep 30, 2021

Sherwood Brown Exonerated in Mississippi, 186th Death-Row Exoneration Since 1973

Sherwood Brown has been exon­er­at­ed of the charges that sent him to death row in Mississippi in 1995 for a triple mur­der he did not com­mit. On August 24, 2021, DeSoto County Circuit Court Judge Jimmy McClure grant­ed a pros­e­cu­tion motion to dis­miss charges against Brown (pic­tured after his release), who was released lat­er that day after hav­ing spent 26 years on the state’s death row or fac­ing the prospects of a cap­i­tal retrial.

Policy Issues

Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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Jun 15, 2018

STUDY: Local Mississippi Prosecutors Struck Black Jurors at More than Four Times the Rate of Whites

A new study shows that the Mississippi District Attorney’s office that has pros­e­cut­ed Curtis Flowers for cap­i­tal mur­der six times — strik­ing almost all black jurors in each tri­al — has dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly exclud­ed African Americans from jury ser­vice for more than a quar­ter cen­tu­ry. Reviewing the exer­cise of dis­cre­tionary jury strikes in 225 tri­als between 1992 and 2017, American Public Media Reports dis­cov­ered that dur­ing the tenure of Mississippi’s Fifth Circuit Court District Attorney Doug Evans (pic­tured) pros­e­cu­tors have exer­cised peremp­to­ry strikes to exclude African Americans from jury ser­vice at near­ly 4½ times the…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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United States Supreme Court

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Nov 06, 2018

Supreme Court to Review Mississippi Death-Penalty Case in Which Prosecutor Systematically Excluded Black Jurors

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether a pros­e­cu­tor with a long his­to­ry of racial­ly dis­crim­i­na­to­ry jury-selec­tion prac­tices uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ly struck black jurors in the tri­al of Mississippi death-row pris­on­er Curtis Giovanni Flowers (pic­tured). On November 2, 2018, the Court grant­ed cer­tio­rari in the Flowers’s case on the ques­tion of “[w]hether the Mississippi Supreme Court erred in how it applied Batson v. Kentucky,” the land­mark 1986 Supreme Court deci­sion bar­ring the use of dis­cre­tionary strikes to remove jurors on the basis of race.

Policy Issues

Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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United States Supreme Court

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Jun 21, 2019

Supreme Court Vacates Conviction in Mississippi Death Penalty Case Finding Race Discrimination in Jury Selection

Finding that a Mississippi pros­e­cu­tor had inten­tion­al­ly struck black jurors in an attempt to empan­el as white a jury as pos­si­ble, the United States Supreme Court has over­turned the con­vic­tion of death-row pris­on­er Curtis Giovanni Flowers. The Court’s 7 – 2 deci­sion on June 21, 2019, found that Mississippi’s Fifth Circuit Court District Attorney Doug Evans had under­tak­en extra­or­di­nary efforts to pre­vent African Americans from serv­ing as jurors in six tri­als in which he has pros­e­cut­ed Flowers for the same racial­ly-charged quadru­ple mur­der in Winona, Mississippi in 1996. Equal jus­tice under law…

Policy Issues

Race

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United States Supreme Court

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Jun 21, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Orders Reconsideration of Three Cases in Light of Jury Selection Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court grant­ed writs of cer­tio­rari in three jury dis­crim­i­na­tion cas­es on June 20, vacat­ing each of them and direct­ing state courts in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana to recon­sid­er the issue in light of the Court’s recent deci­sion in Foster v. Chatman. Two of the peti­tion­ers, Curtis Flowers of Mississippi and Christopher Floyd of Alabama, are cur­rent­ly on death row. The third, Jabari Williams, was con­vict­ed in Louisiana of sec­ond-degree mur­der. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court grant­ed Timothy Foster a new tri­al because pros­e­cu­tors ille­gal­ly exclud­ed blacks…