Mississippi Judge Grants Bail to Curtis Flowers After Supreme Court Found Racism in Trial

Curtis Flowers, right, sits with his counsel, Henderson Hill from North Carolina, during the bond hearing at Montgomery County Courthouse in Winona, Miss., on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.
Sarah Warnock/Clarion Ledger

For the first time in more than 20 years, Curtis Flowers will be allowed to return home to his family.

Throughout a decades-long legal saga – as Flowers was tried six times for the same crime – he stayed behind bars, shuttling between the Mississippi State Penitentiary, also known as Parchman prison, and local jails.

On Monday, a judge granted him bond, allowing Flowers to leave jail to live with his family in Winona while his case makes its way through court. His bail was set at $250,000, and electronic monitoring of Flowers is required.

On Monday, the 49-year-old former death row inmate appeared before Judge Joseph Loper for a bond hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse, less than a mile from where four furniture store employees were shot in the head, execution-style, in summer 1996.

The quadruple homicide shocked Winona, a town of less than 6,000 people in central Mississippi, and has continued to make waves across the country as Flowers was tried six times for the murders – an unprecedented record in modern U.S. history, legal experts have said.

Two of Flowers’ trials ended in hung juries. He was found guilty of the crimes in four trials, but the convictions were each later overturned by higher courts.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Flowers’ most recent conviction because justices found Fifth Circuit District Attorney Doug Evans racially discriminated during jury selection.

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SOURCE: USA Today; Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Alissa Zhu