Supreme Court tosses murder conviction of black inmate

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a black MS death row inmate who has been tried six times in the 1996 killings of four people at a MS furniture store.

Kavanaugh said the abnormal historical past of the case; the prosecutor's documented effort to abet shadowy folks off the juries; and, "dramatically disparate questioning of shadowy and white prospective jurors" all pointed to discrimination.

"Today's decision distorts the record of this case, eviscerates our standard of review, and vacates four murder convictions because the state struck a juror who would have been stricken by any competent attorney", Thomas said, latter adding the following: "If the Court's opinion today has a redeeming quality, it is this: The State is perfectly free to convict Curtis Flowers again".

Curtis Flowers, whose murder case has gone to trial six times, is seen in an August 2017 photo.

But the state said Evans had offered race-neutral reasons in the most recent trial, in 2010, when the prosecutor struck five of six black potential jurors. The results of the first two trials were thrown out on the basis of "prosecutorial misconduct", as were the results of the third after accusations that the prosecutor "discriminated against black prospective jurors".

Kavanaugh wrote that in criminal cases involving black defendants that "the both-sides-can-do-it argument overlooks the percentage of the United States population that is black (about 12 percent) and the cold reality of jury selection in most jurisdictions".

Victims' relatives say Flowers is the killer, but the defense says he's innocent. While the decision was a victory for racial justice in the legal system, Justice Clarence Thomas, the lone African American member of the court, contributed a scathing dissent and suggested that racial discrimination in the jury selection process should not be regulated.

Flowers' lawyers claimed a white prosecutor had a history of improperly excluding African-Americans from the jury.

The Supreme Court has ruled to strike down a conviction of a death row inmate over racial bias in jury selection.

The validity of a peremptory challenge may be objected to on grounds that the juror was dismissed based on their race, sex, or ethnicity in what is known as a Batson challenge, from the court's 1986 case Batson v. Kentucky.

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While attorneys luxuriate in huge discretion, the Supreme Court has banned peremptory challenges outdated completely on the postulate of breeze, ethnicity or sex.

"That Mr. Flowers has already endured six trials and more than two decades on death row is a travesty", Sheri Lynn Johnson, a professor at Cornell Law School, said in a brief statement after the conviction was overturned. And then, in the sixth case, there's only one, and he's convicted.

"When regarded as with other proof of discrimination", Justice Kavanaugh wrote, "a series of factually inaccurate explanations for placing shaded doable jurors can be telling".

USA prosecutors are able to dismiss a limited number of potential jurors at the start of a case without stating a reason, but a 1986 Supreme Court ruling made it illegal to do so on the basis of race.

The court's decision now sets the stage for an unprecedented potential seventh trial. Prosecutors say he was a disgruntled former employee who sought revenge because Tardy fired him and withheld most of his pay to cover the cost of merchandise he damaged.

He devoted a part of his dissent - which Gorsuch did not join - to criticism of Batson.

Friday's Supreme Court ruling could also enable the now-49-year-old Flowers to get out from behind bars for the first time since his arrest, even if there is another trial.

Multiple witnesses saw Flowers in the vicinity of the store.

'The State tried to strike all 36.

  • Sonia Alvarado