16 Dec Mississippi Prisoner Curtis Flowers Granted Bail After Six Trials, 22 Years in Prison, and SCOTUS Victory
Today in the Montgomery County Courthouse in Winona, Mississippi, Circuit Judge Joseph Loper granted the bail motion of Mississippi prisoner Curtis Flowers. Mr. Flowers has been tried six times for the same crime, and has been incarcerated since 1997, most of it on death row. Two of those trials resulted in mistrials and four in guilty verdicts and death sentences that each were overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. In a 7-2 decision on June 21, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the guilty verdict and death sentence in the most recent trial, finding that District Attorney Doug Evans unconstitutionally used peremptory strikes to prevent Black citizens from serving on the juries in his trials. Mr. Flowers’ case was the subject of the second season of the award-winning “In The Dark” podcast.
This case was undertaken by Rob McDuff as part of MCJ’s George Riley Impact Litigation project.
The order granting bail can be accessed here.
An extended excerpt of the hearing can be seen here.
Below is a statement from Rob McDuff of the Mississippi Center for Justice, attorney for Mr. Flowers:
“After nearly 23 years in prison, Curtis Flowers will be released on bail as we continue to pursue justice in this long and costly case. Given the evidence of his innocence that continues to surface as time goes by, as well as his excellent prison conduct and the fact that he has no criminal record, bail was required by the law under the unusual circumstances of this case. We are very pleased that he will finally have some measure of freedom and be able to spend time with his wonderful family. At the beginning of the new year, we will move forward with our efforts to obtain a dismissal of the charges. This has been a long and costly process, and there is no need to continue wasting taxpayer money on this misguided prosecution that has been plagued by misconduct and racial discrimination.“
Here is some of the news coverage of the latest step in Mr. Flowers’s long and difficult journey to justice.
APM Reports – Curtis Flowers to be released on bail
New York Times – After 6 Murder Trials and 23 Years, Curtis Flowers Is Granted Bail
WLBT (NBC Jackson) – Curtis Flowers Granted Bail After Being Tried 6 Times for Same Crime
Jackson Free Press – Curtis Flowers Released on Bail from Parchman for First Time Since 1997