Mississippi Still Burning: Cory Maye’s Public Defender Fired

I’ve been remiss on covering Cory Maye updates lately, mostly because there has been little new going on and because of all of the recent hoopla about the pending Steve Kubby deportation.

For those of you who are new to the story, Cory Maye is a prisoner on death row in the U.S. state of Mississippi. He was convicted of murder in the death of Prentiss police officer Ron W. Jones, during a drug raid in 2001. Maye pleaded not guilty at his trial, citing self-defense as the reason.

Radley Balko provided an important update to the story yesterday. Instead of describing it, I’ll cut and paste Balko’s posting of an e-mail from Bob Evans, Maye’s public defender:

Just found out this a.m. that the Town of Prentiss has “decided to go another route” pertaining to my position as town public defender. In other words, they have now made official what was intimated to me back in December and have fired me.

The explicit and sole reason given to me by the mayor was that my representation of Cory Maye was not to the liking of the aldermen. I guess it wasn’t to the mayor’s liking either since, to the best of my knowledge, he didn’t veto their decision. Of course, I have no doubt that it’s a politically popular decision among the Caucasians of Prentiss. But what in life is not, at least to some extent, political?

When apprised that this move was being contemplated, although I doubted that it would make any difference I requested the courtesy of being allowed to appear before the board to express my reasons for representing Cory. They did not deign to grant me this opportunity.

I have been Prentiss public defender officially (salaried) since February 1995 and unofficially for several years prior. During that time not one official complaint has been communicated to me about my performance. Of course, there have been many unofficial complaints about me “getting all those guilty people off.”

What it boils down to is something that I have known and personally observed about members of the “unwashed masses” for many years: When the Constitution and Bill of Rights are applied to benefit others, the right to counsel, due process, fair trial et al. are “technicalities”. Criminals get off on technicalities such as the 4th Amendment. Only when one of their asses is in a sling are these same documents “fundamental rights”.

But what the hell. Four hundred a month ain’t gonna bankrupt me. This decision, to me, is an indication that the “powers that be” actually believe that we can win Cory’s appeal. That is a refreshing thought. I have always liked the adage “He who laughs last laughs best.”

According to his site, Balko called the mayor and several council people to verify the story, and got the official run-around. Fortunately, Evans can still represent Maye, because he is also a county public defender. Maye is still on death row with what strongly appears to be a case of self-defense, and nobody (aside from the blogosphere) seems gives a damn about it. Props.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. This man’s innocence couldn’t be more plainly obvious. Had he really killed a cop in cold blood, the Hollywood vermin would have already exalted him the latest cause célèbre and France would have made him an honorary citizen, ala Wesley “I shot the motherfucker” Cook.

  2. Stu,

    There are lots of places like that in these parts. IMO, Cullman, Alabama is the worst.

  3. Not only can he continue to represent Maye, but my understanding of the criminal procedure is that he must continue to represent Maye unless given leave by the court to withdraw. The downside is that, if the court denies a request to withdraw, Evans would be required to continue defending Maye without compensation from the city.

    How’s that legal defense fund coming?

    Yours truly,


  4. I don’t know the complete story on this death row inmate. There may be information I have missed reading this blog that proves he is guilty.

    Where the hell are the celebrities that rallied when Tookie “the real murder” Williams was executed? Just more proof these people are really for themselves and like to see and hear their own worthless blabber on the news and in print. What worthless people they are taking up space on this planet.

    We empower celebrities when they have nothing to offer that is empowering.

    I believe Cory Maye should have a full review. Obviously his present counsel was getting nowhere. Maybe there is opportunity here to have a powerhouse defense attorney from somewhere to take this case. If the killing of the cop and the circumstances are correct, and I emphasize if it is correct, then justice will not be served without further investigation and review (before he is executed).

  5. Nick,

    As the defense representation is cross-jurisdictional, I’m not sure how that applies (and didn’t research it). Obviously, Evens is still representing Maye, though. Just wearing a differnt hat and making a few less $.