BY Nii Ntreh, 9:00am March 08, 2021,

Mississippi will pay only $500,000 to Black man who was wrongfully imprisoned for 22 years

Curtis Flowers. who was wrongly convicted four times for four deaths he did not commit 22 years ago. Photo Credit:

The State of Mississippi will pay not more than $500,000 to Curtis Flowers and $50,000 to his lawyer after a judge ruled that compensation is owed to the 50-year-old African-American who was wrongly convicted 22 years ago.

Flowers had been out of prison since 2019. The United States Supreme Court decided that the constitution of jurors who heard his case included no Black person, thereby denying Flowers a better representation of a jury of his peers. The court said a district attorney had seen to the exclusion of Black persons from the jury.

Flowers had been sentenced to death in 1997 for the robbery of a store in Winona, Mississippi and murders that happened in 1996. But he had always denied perpetrating the crimes.

In November last year, Flowers sued Mississippi asking for compensation to which the state’s attorney general agreed. But a Mississippi law passed in 2009 makes it possible for the state to pay only $50,000 per year for 10 years in compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

Flowers’ case to public light in 2019 after an investigation by American Public Media. A podcast by the outlet secured recordings of Odell Hallmon recanting his testimony about Flowers’ role in the crimes. Hallmon in 1997 claimed Flowers had revealed to him the latter’s guilt.

The attorney general’s office had been preparing for the seventh trial in 2017 and 2018 when Hallmon confessed. The office then decided to drop the case as there were no credible witnesses to take the stand against Flowers. However, when Flowers was granted his freedom on a bond in December 2019, his indictments still stood.

Last Edited by:Nii Ntreh Updated: March 8, 2021


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