Tag Archives: juror’s

Curtis Flowers: Death row inmate has conviction quashed due to lack of black jurors

Curtis Flowers: Death row inmate has conviction quashed due to lack of black jurorsThe US Supreme Court has quashed the murder conviction of a black man on death row in Mississippi because of a prosecutor’s “relentless” efforts to stop African Americans appearing on the jury at successive trials.Curtis Flowers, 49, has already been tried six times and now could face a seventh trial following the decision by the country’s highest federal court.He has been in jail more than 22 years, ever since his arrest after four people were found shot dead in a furniture store in Winona, Mississippi, in July 1996.The removal of black jurors deprived inmate Mr Flowers of a fair trial, the Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh.A series of trials stretching back more than 20 years shows District Attorney Doug Evans made a “relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals,” with the goal of an all-white jury in Flowers’ case, Justice Kavanaugh wrote.“The numbers speak loudly,” Justice Kavanaugh said in a summary of his opinion that he read in the courtroom, noting that Mr Evans had removed 41 of the 42 prospective black jurors over the six trials. “We cannot ignore that history.”Mr Flowers was found guilty in his first three trials, but the three convictions were overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court due to “prosecutorial misconduct”. The fourth and fifth trials ended in mistrials.He was convicted again on the sixth trial in 2010, when the jury was made up of 11 whites and one African American and Mr Evans struck five black prospective jurors – a conviction overturned on Friday.In a dissenting view, Justice Clarence Thomas called Justice Kavanaugh’s opinion “manifestly incorrect” and wrote that Mr Flowers “presented no evidence whatsoever of purposeful race discrimination”.Justice Thomas, the only African American currently on the Supreme Court, said: “The state is perfectly free to convict Curtis Flowers again.”Mr Evans said he remained confident of Mr Flowers guilt but had not yet decided whether the state of Mississippi would order a retrial, according to American Public Media. He denied trying to exclude African Americans from the jury.Mr Flowers’ defence lawyers have argued that witness statements and physical evidence against him are too weak to convict him of the killings of four furniture store workers.“A seventh trial would be unprecedented, and completely unwarranted given both the flimsiness of the evidence against him and the long trail of misconduct that has kept him wrongfully incarcerated all these years,” said Sheri Lynn Johnson, who represented Mr Flowers at the Supreme Court.“We hope that the state of Mississippi will finally disavow Doug Evans’ misconduct, decline to pursue yet another trial and set Mr Flowers free.”In the course of selecting a jury, lawyers can excuse a juror merely because of a suspicion that someone would vote against their client using “peremptory strikes”, but they have been the focus of the complaints about discrimination.The Supreme Court tried to stamp out discrimination in the composition of juries in the Batson v Kentucky decision in 1986, ruling that jurors couldn’t be excused from service because of their race.Additional reporting by AP



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Post-verdict, 'El Chapo' jurors rely on anonymity to stay safe

Post-verdict, 'El Chapo' jurors rely on anonymity to stay safeThe jurors were escorted from the courthouse by armed federal marshals and their identities have been kept secret for fear of retaliation by the Sinaloa Cartel, which El Chapo headed. Despite the judge’s unusual warning and the extraordinary security measures during the three-month trial, some legal experts said it could be difficult for the jury to remain anonymous and at least one law enforcement agent involved in the chase for Guzman said jurors might be at risk if their identities are leaked. “The Eastern District of New York has done a great job to protect the witnesses and jurors, but in 2019 with social media and instant access to information, you can’t really hide,” said Derek Maltz, a former special agent-in-charge of Drug Enforcement Agency Special Operations, who coordinated federal agency activity to capture Guzman twice in Mexico.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Potential 'El Chapo' Jurors Fear For Their Lives

Potential 'El Chapo' Jurors Fear For Their LivesUnder the best of circumstances, jury duty is a lackluster affair in which



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Manafort Jurors Ask What Happens If They Can't Agree for 1 Count

Manafort Jurors Ask What Happens If They Can't Agree for 1 CountThe jury is weighing 18 counts against Manafort



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

The Latest: Jurors get San Francisco pier shooting case

The Latest: Jurors get San Francisco pier shooting caseSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on the San Francisco pier shooting murder trial (all times local):



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Jurors weigh San Francisco pier killing 2 years after death

Jurors weigh San Francisco pier killing 2 years after deathSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The criminal case against a Mexican man accused of killing a woman on a crowded San Francisco pier is coming to a close more than two years after setting off a national firestorm over immigration.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Experts: Hard for jurors to convict when cops are on trial

Experts: Hard for jurors to convict when cops are on trialTULSA, Okla. (AP) — The hard-won conviction of a white former Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot his daughter's unarmed black boyfriend shows the difficulty prosecutors have in convincing jurors to put someone who carries a badge and a gun behind bars, legal experts said Thursday.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Minnesota judge backs jurors who acquitted officer of black motorist's death

Minnesota judge backs jurors who acquitted officer of black motorist's deathRamsey County District Judge William Leary told the jurors in a letter that, notwithstanding widespread criticism, they applied the law fairly when they acquitted officer Jeronimo Yanez last month for the killing of Philando Castile during a traffic stop last July, the Star Tribune said. “As we discussed when we met shortly after the verdict, I cannot convey my own opinions as to guilt or acquittal, but your verdict was fully supported by a fair interpretation of the evidence and the law you were obligated to apply,” the newspaper quoted Leary as saying.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Judge in Minnesota police shooting offers jurors support

Judge in Minnesota police shooting offers jurors supportST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The judge who presided over the manslaughter trial of a Minnesota police officer acquitted in the fatal shooting of black motorist Philando Castile took the unusual step of writing to the jurors to tell them that he supports them despite widespread public criticism of their verdict.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Bill Cosby Jurors Deadlocked After Deliberating for More Than 30 Hours

Bill Cosby Jurors Deadlocked After Deliberating for More Than 30 HoursThe jurors told the judge that they couldn't reach a unanimous decision, which may result in a mistrial.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines