Curtis Flower, a Mississippi man who has been in jail since 1996, and tried six times for the same alleged murders, was granted bail on Monday, six months after the US Supreme Court overturned his conviction for racial bias.
Judge Joseph Loper granted Flowers bail for the first time, allowing him to walk free from the Winston-Choctaw County Regional Correctional Facility at around 4 p.m. His bail was set at $250,000, meaning Flowers only had to post a $25,000 bond.
“I feel good right now,” he told reporters after being released. “I’m happy.” Flowers has been tried six times by the same prosecutor for the 1996 killings of four people at a furniture store. Flowers was found guilty in four of the six trials with the first three trials being overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct.
The following two trials ended with hung juries and he was convicted during the sixth trial in 2010. During each trial, Flowers faced an all-white jury. His case was forwarded to the Supreme Court, which ruled 7-2 that the prosecutor violated a law concerning the exclusion of jurors without reason and Flowers was removed from death row.
“Over the course of the first four trials, there were 36 black prospective jurors against whom the state could have exercised a peremptory strike. The state tried to strike all 36” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote on behalf of the majority in the opinion.