Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves appointed DA who fought to keep wrongly convicted man in jail
William Adam Hopper was appointed district attorney despite his involvement in efforts to keep wrongly convicted inmate Curtis Flowers in prison.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves appointed William Adam Hopper to be a district attorney in August, despite Hopper’s ties to a disgraced former DA who had worked for decades to exclude Black jurors from the multiple murder trials of Curtis Flowers, a Black man accused of murder.
Reeves is running for reelection in November against Democrat Brandon Presley, a member of the Mississippi Public Service Commission since 2007 and a second cousin of rock icon Elvis Presley.
Reeves tweeted on Aug.14: “It was my pleasure to appoint Adam Hopper to be the new District Attorney for the 5th Circuit Court District. He has a distinguished career as a prosecutor and I’m confident that he will serve with the highest degree of integrity and professionalism!”
Hopper had served since 2006 as an assistant district attorney under Doug Evans, who resigned from his role as a DA in July after 30 years.
Evans was chastised by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019 for deliberately excluding Black jurors from the juries in the six trials Flowers underwent after being charged with murder in 1996.
Flowers was convicted in four of the six trials; the other two resulted in hung juries. Each of the four convictions was overturned on technical grounds, including discrimination in jury selection. In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that Evans engaged in a “relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of Black individuals” and “was motivated in substantial part by a discriminatory intent.”
Evans ultimately withdrew from the case. New prosecutors dropped the charges in September 2020, after they acknowledged there were no more witnesses that were “alive and available, and [have] not had multiple, conflicting statements in the record.”
Flowers was set free in December 2019 after 23 years behind bars. He’s now suing Evans, alleging that Evans doctored evidence by “pressuring witnesses to fabricate claims about seeing Mr. Flowers in particular locations on the day of the murders,” NPR reported.
Hopper was also involved in the Flowers trial and efforts to prevent his release from prison.
In December 2019, months after the Supreme Court had overturned a previous conviction because of racial discrimination in the jury selection process, Hopper appeared in court to argue that a judge should keep Flowers in prison.
Hopper was dressed down by a judge, who asked why Evans had not appeared and noted that prosecutors were ignoring potentially exculpatory evidence.
Reeves appointed Hopper to serve the remainder of Evans’ term.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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