A Mississippi prosecutor who has tried and failed six times to send Curtis Flowers to the death chamber must decide whether to try him for a seventh time after the Supreme Court overturned his latest conviction because of racial bias in jury selection, the Associated Press reports. Doug Evans, who’s running unopposed for an eighth four-year term as district attorney for a seven-county swath of rural northern Mississippi, has shown no inclination to give up. Flowers is accused of killing four people, execution-style, in a furniture store in 1996 in the town of Winona. Evans has tried Flowers six times, with four convictions overturned and two cases ended in mistrials.
Evans’ efforts to keep black jurors off of Flowers’ case were at the center of Flowers’ appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled 7-2 on Friday that over more than 20 years, Evans pursued a “relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals,” with the goal of an all-white jury. “The numbers speak loudly,” Kavanaugh said in a summary of his opinion that he read in the courtroom, noting that Evans had removed 41 of the 42 prospective black jurors over the six trials. “We cannot ignore that history.” He told reporters for American Public Media’s “In the Dark” podcast that he hadn’t decided whether to try Flowers again, but remained confident of his guilt. Flowers could seek release from custody pending a decision in his case. A state law says a judge must set bail in cases where there have been two mistrials on an indictment charging someone with a capital crime. The Crime Report published an erroneous headline on Friday saying that the Supreme Court had ordered a seventh trial.