SCOTUS strikes down murder conviction of death row inmate Curtis Flowers

Curtis Flowers at his third trial in Winona, Mississippi, in 2004.
Photo: Dale Gerstenslager/AP

Murder CasePolitics

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Justices overturned Curtis Flowers’ conviction in a 7-2 vote. SCOTUS ruled that prosecutors unconstitutionally excluded Black jurors in the Mississippi case, which has already gone to trial six times.

The opinion is by Justice Kavanaugh. The Supreme Court ruled that race played an impermissible role in jury selection. Mr. Flowers has been tried 6 times for the same murder.

Kavanaugh says Miss. acted as if Batson didn’t exist:

“The State’s relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals strongly suggests that the State wanted to try Flowers before a jury with as few black jurors as possible, and ideally before an all-white jury”

Kavanaugh lays out how possible black and white jurors were asked different questions.

Alito, agreeing with the court’s decision, says it would be easier to buy rationale for why jurors were struck in Flowers case if Flowers was tried by a different prosecutor in a larger jurisdiction (Flowers has been prosecuted by the same DA 6 times)

Justice Thomas, dissenting from the majority opinion, suggests SCOTUS has it out for courts from the south.

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