Call Today for a FREE Consultation

262-923-8761

24 HOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT

Curtis Flowers, tried 6 times for murder, finally set free

| Sep 14, 2020 | Criminal Appeals

The state of Mississippi tried Curtis Flowers for murder six times. He was convicted in four trials, while another two ended in mistrials. Yet each of the convictions was overturned. In 2010, after his sixth trial, Flowers was given the death penalty.

In June of 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed his final conviction. The reason his conviction was overturned was that the white prosecutor, District Attorney Doug Evans, had engaged in an unconstitutional pattern of excluding Black jurors from his trials, violating his constitutional rights. Flowers is Black and the trials took place in a majority-Black county, but virtually no Black jurors were seated in any of the six trials. The same DA tried his case each time.

Flowers had been accused of shooting four people to death at a furniture store in 1996.

Podcast investigation uncovers recanted testimony, alternate suspect

Flowers’ case was featured by the American Public Media podcast, “In the Dark.” Reporters for the podcast recorded a major witness in the case entirely recanting his testimony. Odell Hallmon had claimed that Flowers admitted to the murders in a jailhouse confession. He told the podcast that this claim was “a bunch of fantasies, a bunch of lying.”

Jailhouse informants are widely criticized as being almost inherently unreliable. They are usually offered favorable treatment in their own cases if they are willing to inform on other defendants.

Hallmon’s claim that Flowers had confessed was the most significant evidence in the case against Flowers. Hallmon was the only witness claiming to offer direct evidence of Flowers’ guilt.

In addition to uncovering Hallmon’s recanted testimony, the podcast also found evidence that another man might be guilty of the murders.

“This prosecution was flawed from the beginning and was tainted throughout by racial discrimination,” said one of Flowers’ defense lawyers.

After his Supreme Court victory, Flowers was taken off of death row, but the threat of a seventh trial loomed over him. A new prosecutor was finally appointed to review his case, instead of returning the case to DA Doug Evans. Now, the prosecution has finally admitted that it does not have sufficient evidence to convict him. The state of Mississippi has declined to prosecute him further.

Flowers is finally a free man. He stated: “Today, I am finally free from the injustice that left me locked in a box for nearly twenty-three years…. I’ve been asked if I ever thought this day would come. I have been blessed with a family that never gave up on me and, with them by my side, I knew it would.”

Archives

“I just want to say thank you for the outstanding work you have done for him and let you know how much we appreciate the time and attention you gave to his case. We are obviously overjoyed by today’s dismissal!” (Child pornography case dismissed after motion to suppress was granted)”

“After having had time to exhale, we thank each one of you and all the others who contributed to the exemplary Supreme Court presentation. We are proud of your efforts on our behalf and, equally important, on behalf of the many present and future defendants statewide.” (Client’s comment after Supreme Court oral argument)

“Thank you. Thank you. I am so pleased to hear that we won. It doesn’t seem that it was even a close call. I appreciate your efforts.” (Oconto County defendant after Buting, Williams & Stilling got his prison sentence overturned in the court of appeals) ”

“Your time and advice was appreciated more than words can express at a time when we really needed someone to guide us.” (Client)

“The outcome was amazing, one unavailable even under identical circumstances in probably 98 percent of federal courtrooms around the country. Separate and apart from the outcome, though, I am supremely impressed by your efforts on your client’s behalf. Your comments in support of the requested sentence were perfect in tone and, having now reviewed the extensive sentencing memorandum you filed, your work in that regard was exemplary as well. Your client was certainly fortunate to have you as his attorney.” (Local federal court attorney present at a sentencing)

“I can’t thank you enough, not only for all of the tireless work that you and your staff put into my case, but for telling me what I needed to hear, at a time when I absolutely had to hear it. I consider myself blessed for everything turning out the way it did, especially since I blindly picked you out of a phone book! You helped me, my family and friends in many more ways than the money ever could.” (Child pornography client)

“I think you will find that in any circles where Kathy’s name is raised, people will always respond positively and identify her as an extremely hardworking, knowledgeable and ethical lawyer who is timely and effective with any endeavor she takes on. These circles would include colleagues, friends, prosecutors, judges, professors and others who have crossed paths with Kathy. They would also include the many lawyers like me who have referred numerous cases to Kathy, invariably with positive feedback from the clients regarding her knowledge of their case, empathy, professionalism and fair-mindedness in addressing their concerns.” (Fellow attorney)

“Thank you for giving [our son] back to us. Wonderful work!” (Family of client accused of armed robbery after charges were dismissed)

“Yes, His perfect time and perfect place, you were a part of this plan. I almost didn’t hire you, but I took a step of faith trusting Him and look what happened? Praise God. Our Lord put you in your vocation for a reason, continue to help those He brings your way. May He bless you in ALL you do!” (Client who was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault in a northwestern Wisconsin county. He was released from prison after attorneys got his conviction reversed.)

“I really cannot thank you enough for your past help. You really know your stuff. It is actually funny when I think about my other past attorney’s knowledge and then when I talk with you. It’s like night and day. You’re like a walking book of knowledge with a purpose-driven life. Thanks.” (Brown County client of attorney Buting)

“A year later and I still believe your defense is the single best example of lawyering I have ever seen.” (Television reporter commenting on attorney Buting’s defense of Steven Avery)

“You have a certain brilliance that makes me sure that when you talk, it is good information and I am in good hands. You tell it to me like it is even when the things you say are not always the things that I would like to hear. You keep it REAL!!!” (Brown County client)

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel like this was one of the biggest blessings that happened in my life. I put this along with my children being born healthy and when I survived that horrific shooting. I appreciate everything you have done for me. I couldn’t ask for better lawyers. I want to say thank you to everybody at your firm. I owe you more than the fee you so rightfully deserve. … You gave me back hope. Thank you, man! Out of my 36 years … I have never seen such kindness before. I don’t know what I did to deserve this; I’m very thankful nonetheless. Thank you for giving me hope again. Thank you for your generosity. There are still some really good people around.” (Federal criminal appeal client)

“There is no other attorney I’ve ever even heard of I’d rather have as chief counsel and leader of my defense/appeals than Jerome Buting. You’re the best. Period.” (Dane County client)

“Your advice and counsel were greatly appreciated. We appreciate you taking the time on your Sunday and evenings to help us. We are SO happy about the results! Thanks again.” (Waukesha County client)

“Thank you again … for everything. Five and one-half years of commitment, so many ups and downs and an outcome like that. You did a GREAT job.” (Waukesha County felony drug offense client)