Mississippi prosecutors will not retry Hogan Lovells client Curtis Flowers following Supreme Court decision and six trials

New York, 10 September 2020 – Prosecutors have announced they will not retry Hogan Lovells client Curtis Flowers in a legal saga that has spanned more than two decades and an unprecedented six trials—the last of which ended in a conviction and death sentence that was reversed by the United States Supreme Court.

Hogan Lovells joined the legal team representing Flowers in post-conviction proceedings in 2015.

Flowers, who was released on bail in December, said in a statement that he is relieved the case is finally over: “Today, I am finally free from the injustice that left me locked in a box for nearly 23 years,” said Flowers. “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.”

Flowers was tried by the State of Mississippi six times for the same murders before mostly white juries. Every trial either was overturned on appeal for prosecutorial misconduct or ended in a mistrial. Several key witnesses who testified against Mr. Flowers later recanted their stories and admitted they lied. And new evidence—including evidence discovered by the Hogan Lovells team—shows that the prosecutor withheld critical exculpatory evidence.

Reviewing Flowers’s conviction after the sixth trial, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the prosecutor’s “relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of Black individuals,” was unconstitutional.

In determining not to retry Flowers for a seventh time, the Mississippi Attorney General’s office stated there are no remaining key witnesses that could incriminate Flowers, and that there were other potential suspects.

Flowers has always maintained his innocence, and his legal team had long argued the prosecution was tainted by racial discrimination and other egregious misconduct.

Kathryn Marshall Ali of Hogan Lovells said, “It is an honor to have been part of the team that worked to help Curtis win his freedom. But we remain mindful of the injustices that led to his imprisonment on Death Row for more than two decades. This result should have happened years ago.”

The Hogan Lovells team representing Flowers included in Washington: Pro Bono Senior Counsel Jonathan Abram; Senior Associates Kathryn Ali, David Maxwell, and Elizabeth Lockwood; associates Claudia Pare, Daniel Landesberg, David Victorson, John Hamilton, and Marlan Golden; Pro Bono Paralegal Coordinator Ashley Johnson; and former associates Steve Schultze and Michael West. The firm’s team also included Senior Associate David Mitchell in New York, and other current and former Hogan Lovells associates over the years.

The legal team also included Rob McDuff of the Mississippi Center for Justice, Henderson Hill of the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, Sheri Johnson and Keir Weyble of Cornell Law School, Tucker Carrington of the George C. Cochran Mississippi Innocence Project, and attorney Ben Lewis.

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