Cory Maye Update

Last night, I provided a lot of details which have been presented by Radley Balko about Cory Maye, who is on death row in Mississippi for what strongly appears to be a case of justifiable homocide. At this moment, it seems that Maye exercised his Second Amendment right along with his natural right of self-defense in a botched drug raid, unfortunately killing a police officer.

I suggested that people should contact Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi about this case. A couple of hours later a blog entry appeared where someone did just that. However, some of the facts in the letter may not be totally accurate. Today, Radley begs our caution in the presentation:

But it’s important that we get all of the facts straight on the case. I’ve already seen a few misconceptions start to appear. I think this is in part due to conflicting accounts of the case as given by various media outlets in Prentiss and Hatiesburg, by Maye’s first lawyer, by the cops at the scene, and by the prosecution. It’s also probably in part due to me putting the first two posts up rather quickly, and perhaps not being quite as clear as I should have been. It’s important that all the facts are correct, because even if a 75% true version of the story starts getting cited in letters to Gov. Barbour, he can cite the 25% that’s wrong, and dismiss them outright as being ignorant of the facts of the case.

Radley is correct. It is important that verifiable and accurate information be presented. I don’t think we messed up at HoT, but I urge anyone to please be careful with the facts when writing a letter to Barbour, or any other elected government official. I’d still suggest writing a letter, as gubernatorial action may be the swiftest manner for justice to be served in the case. My knowledge of Mississippi code is very limited, but Article 5, Section 12 of the Mississippi Constitution does provide:

In all criminal and penal cases, excepting those of treason and impeachment, the governor shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, to remit fines, and in cases of forfeiture, to stay the collection until the end of the next session of the legislature, and by and with the consent of the senate to remit forfeitures. In cases of treason he shall have power to grant reprieves, and by and with consent of the senate, but may respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the legislature; but no pardon shall be granted before conviction; and in cases of felony, after conviction no pardon shall be granted until the applicant therefor shall have published for thirty days, in some newspaper in the county where the crime was committed, and in case there be no newspaper published in said county, then in an adjoining county, his petition for pardon, setting forth therein the reasons why such pardon should be granted.

Being very careful to present factual information, I’m writing my letter today. I’m asking you do the same.

Just a random thought: This may be one time where the NRA and the ACLU could work together in order to ensure a just outcome in the case.

  1. This is typical Balko — Shoot from the hip, always throwing in some of his law-school-dropout gobbledygook in the process, and then chastise others for being “uninformed” or “impulsive.”

    Some things never change.

  2. Just remember: any as*le busting down your door can shout “Police!” It’s easy — home invaders do it all the time. They have even been known to wear fake uniforms (

    At life-and-death moments like this, all the info you have to help you make a decision as to who is breaking in is the following: are they respecting your rights like good law enforcement officers must do, or are they acting like a bunch of thugs and terrorists?

    How can an innocent man’s culpability in a shooting depend on the cops’ possession of a warrant that the man was unaware of either way? All he knew was that he was innocent. Don’t the cops always say, “Why should you be worried if you have nothing to hide?” So he was justified in assuming this violence was of criminal origin.

    When cops get tired of collecting bullet wounds from innocent citizens, perhaps they will stop acting like terrorists.