“We are grateful that the Supreme Court has reversed Curtis Flowers’ conviction. Seven members of the Court painstakingly analyzed the complex factual record and concluded that Doug Evans discriminated on the basis of race in a decision that reaffirms the importance of racial fairness in the administration of criminal justice, both for the defendant and for the community. This is a victory for everyone.
The quadruple homicide in this case was a terrible crime, but Curtis Flowers did not commit it. While today’s decision is extremely important, it is also important to recognize that the conviction the Supreme Court has now overturned was a product, not only of racial discrimination in jury selection, but also of a wide array of other forms of prosecutorial misconduct, including: the use of grossly unreliable forensic evidence; the presentation of admittedly false jailhouse informant testimony procured through secret promises of leniency; the suppression of powerful evidence undercutting the claims of key prosecution witnesses; and the brazen misrepresentation of critical facts in the prosecutor’s arguments to the jury.
That Mr. Flowers has already endured six trials and more than two decades on death row is a travesty. A seventh trial would be unprecedented, and completely unwarranted given both the flimsiness of the evidence against him and the long trail of misconduct that has kept him wrongfully incarcerated all these years. We hope that the State of Mississippi will finally disavow Doug Evans’ misconduct, decline to pursue yet another trial, and set Mr. Flowers free.”
– Sheri Lynn Johnson, Counsel of Record for Petitioner Flowers and James and Mark Flanagan Professor of Law at Cornell Law School
– June 21, 2019
Link to Opinion in Flowers v. Mississippi: https://www.supremecourt.gov/