This Aug. 3, 2017 photo provided by Mississippi Department of Corrections shows Curtis Flowers, who's murder case has gone to trial six times. Supreme Court justices are again considering how to keep prosecutors from removing African-Americans from criminal juries for racially biased reasons, this time in a case involving a Mississippi death row inmate who has been tried six times for murder. (Mississippi Department of Corrections via AP)

Justices take up racial bias in Mississippi jury selection

March 20, 2019 - 12:32 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is hearing arguments over a Mississippi prosecutor's decision to keep African-Americans off a black death row inmate's jury in a murder trial.

The appeal before the court Wednesday comes from inmate Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for the same crime.

Three convictions were tossed out, including one when the prosecutor improperly excluded African-Americans from the jury. Two other trials ended when jurors couldn't reach unanimous verdicts.

Flowers argues that the court should throw out his latest conviction and death sentence for killing four people because of racial bias in jury selection at his sixth trial.

The Supreme Court tried to end discrimination in the composition of juries in 1986, but it has been harder to root out in practice.

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