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Curtis Flowers sues state for wrongful imprisonment compensation

Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 4:00 pm News Flash Archive

Curtis Flowers has filed suit against the State of Mississippi to recover statutory compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

As of publication time, the Attorney General's office, which defends the state, has failed to file an answer to the complaint, which was due January 29th, according to the Montgomery County Circuit Court docket.

The full complaint may be seen here: Curtis Flowers complaint for compensation

Flowers was charged with the murder of four persons at the Tardy Furniture Store in Winona in 1996, and was tried six times. He was convicted and sentenced to death four times, but each time his conviction was overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. At two other trials, the jury hung and could not return a verdict.

In 2019, the United States Supreme Court threw out Flowers' final conviction, ruling that the local prosecutor Doug Evans had engaged in a pattern of excluding jurors on the basis of race.

On September 4, 2020, the Mississippi Attorney General declined to prosecute Mr. Flowers for a seventh time and requested that the indictment be dismissed with prejudice. The Court immediately entered an order doing so.

Under state law, Mr. Flowers would be entitled to receive the maximum amount of $500,000 in compensation for the 23 years he spent imprisoned while awaiting trial and during all the appeals. Flowers' complaint outlines the basis for his claim for compensation, which requires that the court find that he did not in fact commit the crimes for which he was incarcerated.

Relatives of the four victims have continued to believe and advocate their view that Mr. Flowers committed the crimes.

The State's case against Mr. Flowers was gutted by the investigative podcast "In the Dark," which discovered that other suspects were identified but kept secret from the defense, and that key witnesses had recanted their testimony against Mr. Flowers. The results of their journalism are summarized well in the Complaint, and were recited by Judge Joseph Loper when he released Flowers on bail in late 2019.

For background and previous reporting by The Taxpayers Channel, see these articles:

November 13, 2014: Curtis Flowers death penalty upheld by MS Sup Ct

June 21, 2019: URGENT: US Supreme Court overturns Curtis Flowers Murder Conviction by 7-2 vote

September 4, 2020: URGENT: CURTIS FLOWERS MURDER CASE DROPPED

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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