Man wrongfully imprisoned for 23 years regains freedom
Curtis Flowers was wrongfully arrested for murder, and he had always maintained his innocence. In addition, the state of Mississippi has been ordered to pay $500,000 (N205,780,000) in damages to Curtis for wrongfully arresting him.
He was released in December 2019 after serving 23 years in prison after being arrested in January 1997. Curtis Flowers lost 23 years of his life after being wrongfully imprisoned.
Judge George Mitchell ordered the state to pay Curtis $50,000 a year for 10 years as well as an additional $50,000 (N20,578,000) to cover legal expenses. District Attorney Doug Evans has tried Curtis six times for the murder of four people in a furniture store in a town called Winona near Jackson.
Two of the trials ended in hung juries and four resulted in convictions as well as the death sentence which was overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct. His defence argues that there was insufficient physical evidence and the witness statements were too weak to convict.
The US Supreme court voted 7-2 that Flowers was denied a fair trial after Evans refused to allow black jurors to take part in the trial. Critics have said that the compensation paid to flowers is too low, in Nevada, another man who was released after being wrongfully arrested and imprisoned for 18 years was paid $1.3 million (N535,028,000).