The second season of “In the Dark,” a Peabody Award-winning podcast from American Public Media Reports, visits the deep South to examine the case of Curtis Flowers, a Black man tried six times for capital murder.
According to the season trailer and first two episodes, which premiered today (May 1), Flowers was charged with the 1996 shooting murders of four employees at the Winona, Mississippi, furniture store where he used to work. Rolling Stone reported in 2013 that Doug Evans, the local district attorney, characterized Flowers as a disgruntled employee and pursued capital murder charges despite Flowers’ pleas of innocence. The Clarion-Ledger/The Associated Press noted that Flowers was tried for the same alleged crime six times over nearly two decades, making him the only known person in the United States to endure that many trials for one set of charges.
Three of those trials ended in conviction and death sentences, the last of which the Supreme Court of Mississippi upheld in 2014. Flowers maintained his innocence and filed repeated appeals from death row, and the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that the state must review the case for suspected racial bias in jury selection. The ruling came three years after Rolling Stone reported that Evans, who successfully argued for convictions in front of three predominantly-White juries, participated in meetings with the White supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. The state Supreme Court ultimately judged that no racist practices transpired, and Flowers remains on death row.
Listen to the first two episodes of the show’s second season: