A murder indictment against a Black man tried six times in Mississippi for the same crime and who maintained his innocence throughout was dismissed after a decision by state prosecutors to forego another trial.
The dismissal on Friday marks the end of a long legal road for Curtis Flowers, who fought for decades from death row to beat the charges of a quadruple murder in the town of Winona in 1996, culminating in a lopsided 2019 victory at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The justices ruled for Flowers 7-2, taking account of local District Attorney Doug Evans’ pattern of keeping Black prospective jurors from deciding Flowers’ fate over the years.
All of Flowers’ trials ended either with hung juries or convictions that got overturned on appeal due to various forms of misconduct by Evans.
Earlier this year, with the prospect of a seventh trial looming, Evans recused himself from the case, which was then assigned to the state attorney general Lynn Fitch.
“As the evidence stands today, 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,” Fitch’s office said in its motion to dismiss.
Flowers’ case gained national attention due to the award-winning APM Reports investigative podcast “In the Dark.”
“Today, I am finally free from the injustice that left me locked in a box for twenty three years,” Flowers said in a statement. “I want to say that I believe there are other men, men that I met on the row, whose cases deserve to be heard and considered.”
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