JACKSON, Mississippi — UPDATE: March 22, 2021:
A Mississippi man who was wrongfully imprisoned for more than two decades and spent years on death row has wed his fiancée, a year after being freed. WTVA-TV reports that Curtis Flowers married Marlena Wright on Saturday during a private ceremony in Grenada.
Flowers, a Black man, was released from prison in December 2019, months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Black jurors were excluded from his trials. He was tried six times in a 1996 quadruple murder in Winona. All of his convictions were overturned. A website announcing the couple’s marriage said the two were looking forward to starting their life together following Flowers’ release.
A judge is ordering Mississippi to pay $500,000 to a Black man who was wrongfully imprisoned more than 22 years.
Curtis Flowers was tried six times in a quadruple murder case. He was released in December 2019, months after the U.S. Supreme Court said a district attorney had excluded Black jurors from his trials. Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in September that she would not try him a seventh time in the slayings and a robbery that happened in 1996.
In November, Flowers sued the state seeking compensation for wrongful imprisonment. A judge Tuesday ordered the $500,000 payment to Flowers, the maximum allowed under state law. Flowers will get $50,000 annually for the next ten years. His legal team also will receive $50,000.
Flowers, now 50-years-old, served his time on death row at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. He was convicted at three different trials for shooting four people to death at Tardy Furniture Story in Winona. Flowers worked at the store until about two weeks before store owner Bertha Tardy, 59, and employees, Robert Golden, 42, Carmen Rigby, 45, and Derrick Stewart, 16, were shot in the head.
The state Supreme Court overturned Flowers’ first three trial convictions. He was convicted yet again at another trial, but that conviction was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019.