NAACP sues District Attorney Evans

By REGGIE ROSS

Staff Writer

District Attorney Doug Evans has been hit with a lawsuit by the NAACP, which maintains Evans uses racial discrimination during jury selections in his Fifth Circuit District.

The complaint, filed in federal court Monday, claims his office strikes black jurors at alarmingly high rates.

The Attala County branch of the NAACP filed the lawsuit against Evans and states that it seeks to “hold (Evans) accountable for the policy custom and usage of racially discriminatory jury selection, and to secure an injunction to end this odious practice.”

Evans said this morning he knew there was a lawsuit but was unaware of its context.

“I haven’t seen the lawsuit yet,” Evans said. “I’m sure I will see it sometime this morning.”

The NAACP hopes to see the case become a class action lawsuit, representing all black citizens eligible for jury service in the district that covers Attala, Grenada, Montgomery, Carroll, Choctaw, Webster and Winston. The lawsuit estimates the number of blacks in the district to be 21,000 people.

A large number of black jurors were dismissed from 1997 to 2010 in the capital murder trials of Flowers.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Flowers’ conviction in June, finding racially biased jury selection. Prosecutors say Flowers killed four people in a Winona furniture store in 1996. He was sentenced to death in 2010’s sixth trial.

Flowers’s attorney has asked a judge to free Flowers on bail and throw out charges