The Supreme Court today issued a ruling overturning the murder convictions of a man named Curtis Flowers. But this is no ordinary reversal. Flowers has been convicted SIX times for the same crimes.
You see, the prosecutor in Winona, Mississippi, Doug Evans, has a problem. He can’t seem to convict Mr. Flowers without cheating.
Three of the cases were overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court for prosecutorial misconduct. In one case, Evans mislead the jury about “evidence’ that didn’t exists. In two others, he was found to have struck prospective jurors in a (successful) effort to keep black people off.
In two other tries, Evans ran out of challenges, so a couple of black people got on the jury, and those juries could not reach a verdict. Finally, after a sixth re-trial and conviction, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the case, saying they did not see evidence of racial profiling of jurors that time. That decision was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court who today vacated the conviction by a 7-2 vote, concluding there was ample evidence of racial bias on the part of the prosecutor AGAIN.
You might think that after so many attempts with so much misconduct, that Doug Evans would be precluded from prosecuting yet again. Entire DA offices have been barred from prosecuting cases for far less. That doesn’t mean the person cannot be prosecuted—the state attorney general could do it. But here, it looks like Doug Evans can take a seventh try at Flowers if he wants.