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Fear Stalks a Mississippi Town; Day One, The Trial of Curtis Flowers

Forensic historian Dr. Alan Bean files his first report from Winona, Mississippi where the murder trial of Curtis Flowers has opened:

You could feel the fear in the courthouse in the Montgomery County courthouse today.

The jury pool had already been cut from 600 to 156 when we arrived for day one of Curtis Flowers’ trial; by the end of the day only 76 jurors remained.

There were three categories of people in the room: the folks in category one were desperate to be on the jury; those in category two weren’t fussy about jury duty but were willing to serve if their number came up; category three people were desperate to get off the jury.

The eighty people eliminated from consideration today are all category three people. One woman said she couldn’t be objective because her elderly pastor might testify and she might give too much weight to his testimony.

Category one people had no such qualms. One man told the judge he was really close to three of the innocent victims murdered at the Tardy Furniture Store in 1996, but swore he could still be trusted to weigh the evidence fairly and objectively.

Judge Loper, as the law demands, took both jurors at their word.

Continued on the Friends of Justice website