Mississippi to compensate Curtis Flowers $50K for 22 years imprisonment

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March 3 (UPI) -- Mississippi will compensate Curtis Flowers, a man imprisoned for more than 22 years and tried six times for murder, $500,000 for being wrongfully accused.

Mississippi 5th Circuit Judge George Mitchell ruled Tuesday that Flowers, 50, will receive the maximum compensation possible.

Flowers spent nearly 23 years in prison for the deaths of four people at a furniture store in Winona, Miss. He was released on bail in December 2019 ahead of what was expected to be his seventh trial, but a judge dropped the charges against him in September.

Bertha Tardy, the owner of Tardy Furniture, and three employees, Robert Golden, Carmen Rigby and Derrick "Bobo" Stewart, were found dead at the store July 16, 1996. Flowers became a suspect after police learned he had been fired from the store two weeks earlier.

Flowers was tried six times in connection to the slayings and was found guilty four times. The first three convictions were overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct, two ended up in a hung jury and the last was overturned by the Supreme Court in June after District Attorney Doug Evans violated a law by excluding Black jurors.

Evans recused himself in Flowers' planned seventh trial.

State law allows wrongfully convicted people to be compensated up to $50,000 per year with a maximum of $500,000. The money will paid out in annual installments over the next 10 years.

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