Curtis Flowers granted bail by Mississipi court after being held on death row for 2 decades
Flowers have been incarcerated since 1997, most of it on death row. Recently, his case was the subject of Season 2 of the award-winning 'In The Dark' podcast.
Mississipi man Curtis Flowers has been awarded bail after spending 23 years in prison for murder. He was previously tried six times and his convictions were overturned by the US Supreme Court.
Although the bail was set to $250,000, which is a lot more than the requested $25,000 amount, he will be a free man if he can post bail as the prosecutors decide if he should be tried for the seventh time. He will be wearing an ankle bracelet.
“It's been rough,” Flowers said, according to Associated Press, "Taking it one day at a time, keeping God first — that’s how I got through it. I’m so excited right now, I can’t even think straight,” he said with a laugh.
The 49-year-old's father Archie Lee Flowers, 77, was unable to hold back his tears as Circuit Judge Joseph Loper granted the bail motion of Flowers. His attorney Rob McDuff of the Mississippi Center for Justice said in a statement to MEA WorldWide, "After nearly 23 years in prison, Curtis Flowers will be released on bail as we continue to pursue justice in this long and costly case. Given the evidence of his innocence that continues to surface as time goes by, as well as his excellent prison conduct and the fact that he has no criminal record, bail was required by the law under the unusual circumstances of this case.
"We are very pleased that he will finally have some measure of freedom and be able to spend time with his wonderful family. At the beginning of the new year, we will move forward with our efforts to obtain a dismissal of the charges. This has been a long and costly process, and there is no need to continue wasting taxpayer money on this misguided prosecution that has been plagued by misconduct and racial discrimination."
Flowers have been incarcerated since 1997, most of it on death row. Recently, his case was the subject of the second season of the award-winning 'In The Dark' podcast. His death sentence overturned in June after a case of racial bias in the trial's jury came to light.
As we had reported earlier, Flowers was arrested and charged with regard to a fatal shooting at Tardy Furniture store in downtown Winona in 1996. Four people were found dead inside: Bertha Tardy, 59, and her three employees Carmen Rigby, 45, Robert Golden, 42 and Derrick Stewart, 16.
Prosecutors believe that Flowers was the killer and he was convicted in the first three trials, but the verdicts were reversed on grounds of prosecutor misconduct. The fourth and fifth trial ended in mistrials because of a deadlocked jury. He was convicted of the crimes four times in total, but the jury had been predominantly white in all cases. Thirty-six black jurors had been blocked from the courtroom. He was sentenced to death in his sixth trial in 2010.