Curtis Flowers, a black man in Mississippi who was convicted and sentenced to death in 1997 for the 1996 killings of four individuals, currently sits on death row and has been tried six times for the slayings, which took place at a furniture store where the defendant had been fired just days earlier. According to a news report at Salem Radio Network News, Flowers’ attorneys are attempting to have his conviction overturned and recently told the Mississippi Supreme Court that their client’s latest trial was unfair.
Flowers was convicted of the murders in 1997, 1999, and 2004, each time being sentenced to death. However, each of these convictions was overturned by the Supreme Court, in one instance due to racial discrimination during jury selection, and prosecutorial misconduct in the other two.
In this latest appeal, Flowers’ attorneys claim that the evidence against their client in the 2010 trial was misrepresented by prosecutors, and lacking. They also claim that jury selection was racially biased. Flowers was tried in 2007 and 2008, with both trials ending in a hung jury.
Of the four individuals shot at close range at the Tardy Furniture store in Winona, one was black. Prosecutors claim that the defendant “had a beef” with store owner Bertha Tardy who terminated Flowers and then withheld his pay to cover damage to batteries. Flowers’ defense lawyers claim he was at his home when the shooting occurred, and that he had no hard feelings toward his boss. They also allege that the investigation into the murders was “shoddy,” and that witness testimony was coerced.
Considering the defendant has been tried six times for the same murders and the state Supreme Court has overturned his conviction on three occasions, there is no doubt that there are issues with the case.
When someone chooses to appeal a conviction based on racial bias, weak evidence, juror misconduct, errors made by police or prosecutors, or simply because he or she is innocent, it is imperative to choose a Michigan criminal appeals attorney who is aggressive, skilled, and most important of all, experienced and knowledgeable in the appeals process. You must choose a lawyer with a proven track record, although no attorney can guarantee a win. However, you want to ensure you have the best possible chance of having your conviction overturned, so extensive experience is key.