Today, the United States Supreme Court threw out the murder conviction(s) of a Mississippi man. Although this would be notable in and of itself, what's truly notable is that the convictions occurred after the man's SIXTH trial. According to a 7-2 opinion authored by Justice (and noted boozehound) Brett Kavanaugh, the removal of black prospective jurors deprived Curtis Flowers of a fair trial. The six trials (which have occurred over a period of 20 years) shows the district attorney's "relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals," with the goal of an all-white jury, Kavanaugh wrote.
This brings us to an important teaching point. When a conviction is reversed on an appeal or the jury cannot agree on a verdict, the state has the right to re-try the defendant. Many people believe that in such situations, the state is forbidden from doing so, but that is absolutely not the case. In the tortured procedural history of Mr. Flowers's matter, three convictions were tossed out by either the Mississippi Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, including one when the prosecutor improperly excluded African Americans from the jury. In the second trial, the judge chided the district attorney for striking a juror based on race. Two other trials ended when jurors couldn't reach unanimous verdicts. As Justice Thomas (the only African-American on the United States Supreme Court) stated in his dissent, the only redeeming quality about the case to him is that "[t]he state is perfectly free to convict Curtis Flowers again."
The best way to avoid situations like this is to win the matter at trial. If you need an experienced criminal defense trial lawyer, contact the Law Office of Alex Kriksciun today!