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Curtis Flowers, a death row inmate, has been tried six times in connection with a brutal quadruple homicide in Mississippi.
Each trial has ended in either a hung jury or a conviction reversed on appeal due to prosecutorial misconduct.
Supreme - Court - Evidence - Flowers - Prosecution
The Supreme Court will decide what evidence Flowers can use to argue the prosecution skewed a jury along racial lines to help secure his latest conviction.
The Supreme Court seemed poised Wednesday to side with a black death row inmate who believes the prosecution rigged the jury for his murder trial on the basis of race.
Question - Justices - Judge - Practices - Misconduct
The question before the justices asks whether a judge can consider past practices or misconduct when deciding if a prosecutor is removing prospective jurors on the basis of race.
Novelist Harper Lee may as well have written the story of Curtis Flowers, the defendant in Wednesday’s case. Flowers is a black man who has been tried six times in a Mississippi court in connection with a quadruple homicide by the same white prosecutor, Doug Evans. Two of those cases resulted in a mistrial due to deadlocked juries. Flowers was found guilty in the other three, but appeals courts lifted those convictions because of misconduct on Evans’s part.
Trial - Conviction - Matter - Court
The sixth and most recent trial, which ended with a conviction, is the matter currently before the high court.
When seating a jury for trials, both the prosecution and the defense can use so-called peremptory strikes to exclude a prospective juror for almost any reason at all. The Supreme Court said peremptory strikes could not be used on account of race in a 1986 decision called Batson v. Kentucky. The decision followed the long, unfortunate history of prosecutors seating all-white juries in cases with black defendants.
Batson - Violation - Lawyers - Batson - Challenge
It is often difficult to prove a Batson violation, however — though lawyers can bring a “Batson challenge”...
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