Infamous Mississippi District Attorney Doug Evans automatically won reelection on Tuesday for the state’s 5th District. He has been in the job since 1991 and has faced allegations of racial bias.
Evans, who is white, came into the national spotlight for his handling of Curtis Flowers, a Black man who was tried for murder six times and may now be tried a seventh. Flowers’ case was covered in the American Public Media podcast “In the Dark” and brought national attention to Evans’ fixation on pinning a quadruple murder on the man.
In each of the six trials, Evans was accused of prosecutorial misconduct by a higher court, the Washington Post reported. His alleged misconduct included keeping Black people from being on Flowers’s jury. Evans’s racial bias and violation of Flowers’s constitutional rights was so blatant the Supreme Court reversed Flowers’s conviction and path to the death penalty in June.
“The state’s relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals strongly suggests that the state wanted to try Flowers before a jury with as few black jurors as possible, and ideally before an all-white jury,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote.
But Evans’s reelection is not an outlier in Mississippi. The state has 22 prosecutors who are elected into office and all of them except five ran unopposed this cycle, the Post reported.
Evans’s style, and other prosecutors in the state, have led to Mississippi being the third-most-incarcerated state. It also has a lifetime ban on felons being able to vote.
Because of Evans’s automatic reelection, he will likely once again decide whether or not Flowers, who is still incarcerated but not facing the death penalty, will receive a seventh trial. Flowers has been in jail since the first accusation against him for the 1996 murders.