Supreme Court overturns death row inmate's quadruple murder conviction

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A black MS inmate faces a possible seventh trial after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 Friday that a prosecutor had displayed racial bias in jury selection.

"We can not ignore that history". Some prosecutors, including in Southern states like MS, have been accused over the decades of trying to ensure predominately white juries for trials of black defendants to help win convictions. "The "entire line of cases following Batson" is 'a misguided effort to remedy a general societal wrong by using the Constitution to regulate the traditionally discretionary exercise of peremptory challenges, '" Thomas wrote, adding that "black criminal defendants will rue the day that this Court ventured down this road that inexorably will lead to the elimination of peremptory strikes". The defendant already has been tried six times and now could face a seventh trial.

TOTENBERG: The two were Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.

Second, the prosecutor in the sixth trial "engaged in dramatically disparate questioning of black and white prospective jurors", apparently to find pretextual reasons to strike the black prospective jurors, Kavanaugh said. Three times, the Mississippi Supreme Court said that the prosecutor had committed prosecutorial misconduct - and not some trivial things, things like lying about evidence that didn't exist and discrimination in the selection of juries.

Evans has attempted to convict Plant life six events over time: in 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

The sixth and most recent trial, which resulted in a conviction, was the matter before the Supreme Court.

This Aug. 3, 2017 listing supplied by Mississippi Division of Corrections reveals Curtis Vegetation, who's homicide case has long gone to trial six times.

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The two dissenting justices also argued that the prosecution had a valid reason for removing each of the potential black jurors. Thomas noted the court's majority "does not dispute that the evidence was sufficient to convict Flowers or that he was tried by an impartial jury".

Death row inmate Curtis Flowers.

Evans said he remained confident of Flowers guilt but hadn't decided on retrial, according to American Public Media. Along with that, two trials ended up having a hung jury. Those are called peremptory strikes, and they have been the focus of the complaints about discrimination.

The opinion reviewed Flowers' six trials and provides a thorough history of racial discrimination in jury selection in the USA, leading to the Batson decision. "The media often seeks "'to titillate rather than to education and inform", Thomas wrote, quoting a phrase from a 1981 Supreme Court opinion. "And although the Court's opinion might boost its self-esteem, it also needlessly prolongs the suffering of four victims' families", he said. His lawyers asked the justices to hold that the prosecutor, Doug Evans, who brought each case, broke the law by engaging in race discrimination during jury selection.

"Much of the court's opinion is a paean to Batson v. Kentucky, which requires that a duly convicted criminal go free because a juror was arguably deprived of his right to serve on the jury", Thomas wrote.

Speculation surrounding prejudices and white officials' abuse of power in Flowers' case has fluttered for as long as the 49-year-old has been behind bars. In April 2018, the Washington Supreme Court became the first court in the nation to adopt a specific rule banning implicit and intentional racial bias in jury selection, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

"That rule was suspect when it was announced, and I am even less confident of it today", the justice wrote.

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