Curtis Flowers—black, age 25 (re-sentence after an appellate reversal)
Sentenced to death in Montgomery County, Mississippi
By: a jury
Date of crime: 1996
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Bertha Tardy, owner of the Tardy Furniture Store, withheld an $80 paycheck from Flowers because of some golf cart batteries that had been damaged when they fell off a truck he was driving. Flowers went to the store and shot Tardy, two other employees, and a delivery driver in the head, and took about $250. The defense claimed an alibi. The conviction and death sentence were twice reversed on appeal due to prosecutorial errors.
Prosecutor(s): Doug Evans
Defense lawyer(s): Ray Charles Carter
Sources: Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS) 2/7/04, 2/12/04 (available on Lexis/Nexis USNEWSPAPERS database); Commercial Appeal (Memphis) 2/13/04 (2004 WL 9636904).
Cory Maye—black, age 21
Sentenced to death in Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi
By: A jury
Date of crime: 12/26/01
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Police burst into Maye’s apartment yelling, “Police!” during a drug raid. Maye was in his bedroom. When police officer Ron Jones came through the doorway, Maye shot him in the abdomen just below his bulletproof vest. Jones died. The victim was the son of the police chief of the town of Prentiss. The defense attempted to prove that Maye did not know the persons breaking in were police officers, and that he was trying to protect his infant son, who was in the bedroom with him. In mitigation the defense pointed out Maye’s relative youth at the time of the shooting (21) and his lack of a prior criminal record.
Prosecutor(s): Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald IV, Doug Miller
Defense lawyer(s): Rhonda Cooper
Sources: Sun Herald (Biloxi) 12/28/01, 12/30/01; Clarion-Ledger (Jackson) 2/22/02; Telephone call with prosecutor Miller 9/27/04
Jason Taylor—white, age 23
Sentenced to death in Harrison County, Mississippi
By: A jury
Date of crime: 10/12/02
Prosecution case/defense response: Taylor killed 18-year-old clerk Cynthia Cazeaux while robbing a GNC store where he had been an employee, and from which he knew Cazeaux. The victim was shot, but died from severe head trauma. Taylor was on probation for a double kidnapping and robbery he committed at age 16. Taylor committed suicide only three months after arriving on death row.
Prosecutors: Lisa Dodson and Chris Fisher
Defense counsel: Glenn Rishel and Donald Rafferty
Sources: Biloxi Sun Herald, 10/15/02 (2002 WL 101464307); 11/7/04 (2004 WL 98821305).