Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mississippi Legislature Impacts Black History Month: Bill Considered Will Mean All White Jury in Flowers Case

From the AP and Friend of Justice:

Mississippi lawmakers are considering a bill that could have an impact on the long-running capital murder case of a Montgomery County man accused of killing four people at a furniture store nearly 15 years ago.

Curtis Flowers is set to be tried a sixth time later this year for the 1996 murders at Tardy Furniture store in Winona.

The case has nearly depleted Montgomery County’s jury pool, and is one of the reason legislators have been asked to approve a proposal to expand the area from which jurors are selected, said Circuit Court Lanelle Martin.

The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would allow counties to pull prospective jurors from an entire multicounty circuit district. Currently, jurors are sought from the county in which the crime occurred.

Flowers is charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of Winona furniture store owner Bertha Tardy, 59; store employees Derrick “BoBo” Stewart, 16, and Carmen Rigby, 45; and delivery man Robert Golden, 42.

Flowers has had three trials in Winona, one in Tupelo and one in Biloxi. Two resulted in mistrials and three in convictions that were later overturned. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty in the trial scheduled for June at the Montgomery County Courthouse.

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