USA - Alabama. Judge Keith Watkins overturned the death sentence of Richard Flowers

25 January 2021 :

Judge Keith Watkins, of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, has overturned the death sentence imposed on Richard Flowers.
The court ruled that Flowers had been provided deficient representation at trial, in the penalty phase, and in the sentencing hearing before the trial judge, but found that he had suffered prejudice only with respect to his sentence. The court wrote: “Mr. Flowers was represented by a cascade of unprepared trial attorneys, with his second-chair counsel becoming the de facto lead counsel a mere sixteen days after his appointment and thirty minutes prior to opening argument. Defense counsel failed to conduct any meaningful investigation––and no investigation of mitigating evidence––and failed to file routine pretrial motions until in the shadow of a jury.” Flowers sentencing judge had imposed the death penalty following a non-unanimous 10-2 jury recommendation of death.


other news