Curtis Flowers, a 50 year old Black man in Mississippi, is finally free of the murder charges he was tried for six times over the past 24 years—and in front of mostly-white juries.
On Friday, Mississippi prosecutors announced that they will not seek “an unprecedented seventh trial of Mr. Flowers,” reports the New York Times.
From the Times:
In its court filing seeking dismissal of the charges, the attorney general’s office suggested that a conviction would be difficult to attain. “There is no key prosecution witness that incriminates Mr. Flowers who is alive and available and has not had multiple, conflicting statements in the record,” the prosecutors wrote, adding that there were other possible suspects.
One of the witnesses who testified against Mr. Flowers was later convicted of tax fraud and had since died, the prosecutors wrote. Another witness, who once claimed that Mr. Flowers had confessed to the crime while in jail, later admitted that he had been lying, the prosecutors said.
As The Root has previously reported, Flowers was imprisoned for 23 years after first being convicted and sentenced to death for a 1996 quadruple homicide at a furniture store where he worked in Winona, Mississippi.
Despite a lack of physical evidence connecting him to the crime, Flowers’ maintenance of his own innocence, and the fact that he did not fit the description of the assailant given by eyewitnesses, Mississippi District Attorney Doug Evans doggedly sought his conviction and imprisonment in six different trials—many of which ended in mistrials or were overturned for prosecutorial misconduct due to his deliberate exclusion of Black jurors.
In January of this year, Evans recused himself from the case which had started getting national attention in large part due to an investigation by the podcast In The Dark.
Flowers was also granted $250,000 bond in late 2019, allowing him to finally leave prison after more than two decades of imprisonment—though with the threat of yet another trial still pending.
With the complete dismissal of the charges, Flowers said on Friday, “Today, I am finally free from the injustice that left me locked in a box for 23 years.”