The official version seems to be that Cory Maye is a black man sitting on death row in Mississippi for killing a white cop during a drug raid gone bad. Thanks to Radley Balko (and now the blogosphere), a new version of the same story might save Maye’s life.
Balko is doing a great job so faron this issue, but others are piping in with important or . As a result, an article like the hypothetical one below could be the end result. Please note that I am making suggestions not based on established facts at this time, but merely one of many possibilities of how the story might turn out.
Mississippi Governor Barbour fully pardoned convicted murderer Cory Maye this afternoon. In a statement released by the Governor’s office, Barbour is quoted as saying: “Maye’s appeal isn’t yet scheduled, but I see no reason to keep an innocent man behind bars for years while the justice system sorts this out. Therefore, I am immediately exercising my authority as Governor of the State of Mississippi to pardon Mr. Maye so he can return to a more normal life with his friends and family.”
Maye had been originally found guilty of capitol murder for the death of Prentiss police officer Ron Jones. Maye was awakened during a no-knock search and shot at Jones in defense of himself and his 18 month old daughter. The warrant had been issued based on information presented by a yet unidentified informant indicating that someone at the premises was involved in illegal drug trade. At the time of the incident, Maye held a spotless criminal record, and no illicit drugs (or perhaps trace residue?) were found at the scene.
He had previously testified that it was dark in his apartment when he heard someone breaking into the back door, which was located in the bedroom. “That’s when I fired the shots,” Maye said. “After I fired the shots, I heard them yell ‘police! police!’ Once I heard them, I put the weapon down and slid it away. I did not know they were police officers.”
Convicted in January 2004 of capitol murder, Maye was sentenced to death by lethal injection. Bloggers initiated further investigation into the details of the shooting, arrest and conviction. This culminated in a firestorm of activity across the Internet, which in turn led to significant national news coverage. The media pressure caused local and state officials to take a fresh view of the case.
“Cory will be released tomorrow morning,” said Jane Doe, who is Maye’s new attorney. “They are already outprocessing him, and Cory told me all he can think about is being able to hug his daughter once again.”
This possible outcome (or one like it) can happen if you become involved. As more information becomes available, it is important that each of us does our part to help spread the word so that justice may eventually be served. Because he has the ability to act quickly on the matter, one suggestion has been to directly contact the Governor of Mississippi.
Dear Governor Barbour – I am not one of your constituents, only a neighbor from Tennessee, but I URGE you to give careful consideration to granting a full pardon, or at very least a commutation of sentence, to Cory Maye – a man who is about to be put to death for merely attempting to defend himself and his baby daughter from unknown intruders. If we do not affirm this right to self-protection, we have lost the entire foundation for claiming to be in any way a free society here in America! While I recognize the tragedy of the death of the police officer in this 2001 incident, the night after Christmas, nothing will be gained by executing this man now, and a great deal could be gained by setting him free to resume what is left of his life.
Another thing we can do is to create the blogospheric firestorm required to spur the mainstream media into action. This is an issue where red, blue and all shades of purple (or even black) can work together. Battlepanda encourages us to do this with:
Let’s make this a competition. I am going to keep track of right and left wing blogs mentioning the Cory Maye to see which side is doing a better job.
If you have a blog, I’d highly encourage you to cover the issue so we can get the word out. Please make sure Battlepanda is aware of your posting. If you have new information or evidence on this case, Radley Balko would almost certainly welcome it. The life of a man who appears to be totally innocent is at stake, and we can be the ones who make the difference.
As the main stream media is not reporting on this case at this time, the best single source of information is available at Balko’s website. There are new updates ( , , ) this morning, and it looks as if we might expect more information sometime today.
And as an aside, this is going to be the lead story on our radio show this saturday morning…KUCI 88.9 FM in Orange County, CA, or listen live at KUCI.org. We go on about 8:25 a.m. or so…
UPDATE 2: Balkoof the relevant warrant documents on his site. I’ve got a meeting to attend, but will read them when I get back.
UPDATE 3: Tom Knapp wrote a letter which is published .
UPDATE by Nicholas Sarwark:Orin Kerr of The Volokh Consipracy has picked up on the story here.