Two Men Facing Imminent Death at the Hands of the Drug Warriors

With the Steve Kubby story rightfully on the forefront recently, I’ve not paid the Cory Maye case as much attention as it deserves. Thanks to Radley Balko, the latest news is always available here.

Lawrence Krubner sent me an e-mail:

I’m pleased that you’ve been helping keep attention on Cory Maye’s case. Personally, it offends me that such an obvious case of self-defense got twisted by the courts into 1st degree murder. It seems to me that at most Maye should have been charged with manslaughter. I doubt he deserved even that much, but if he had he would have probably gotten about 4 to 5 years, and so he would be out this year. He deserves to be out this year, no matter how you look at it.

Myself and some like minded people have been working on a petition. Cory Maye’s story has been rare in that it has brought support from conservatives, libertarians and those on the left. We tried to word the petition in a way that all sides would be willing to sign it. We contacted dozens of webloggers from all political stripes for input. We have it up now here:

We hope to bring attention to the case of Cory Maye.

At some point this spring, we intend to print this out and mail it to the Governor of Mississippi and to all the major newspapers.

Let’s get out there and sign that petition.

We’re helping Lawrence by signing the petition and spreading the word. Hopefully, the left will help us a bit by spreading the word about Steve Kubby, who may well die (and is already suffering very poor health) much sooner than Maye.

Now to the Kubby case. Here are a few paragraphs cut from a couple of e-mail messages which provide a bit more detail on the situation. From Starchild:

I accompanied about 15 other medical marijuana activists to Placer County today, in an action organized by Clark Sullivan under the organizational name “Axis of Love” (see his report below). It was a real struggle to get up and make it down to Civic Center at 530am this morning, but having already gotten Clark to add the Libertarian Party to his press materials, I felt it would be too embarrassing if no LP members were there for this action.

Steve’s actual appearance was very brief. His attorney took a low-key approach, and didn’t even ask the judge to guarantee his medicine in jail. I think he did mention filing a motion asking for house arrest for Steve; that definitely came up in the post-appearance press conference given by Chris Cattran(?), the assistant D.A. in Placer County who seemed to be the point man pursuing this case. Steve looked very thin, and his hair was quite long (I guess he wasn’t able to get the haircut he was seeking according to the transcript of a phone conversation a supporter previously had with him in jail — I’ll forward that separately), but he looked calm and seemed to be in good spirits. As Clark notes, the courtroom held about fifty people; there were perhaps 25 more who didn’t make it inside, so from that point of view my presence was somewhat superfluous. I doubt he had time to really see who all was in the crowd, though I’m sure it did him good to see the room packed with supporters.

Some photographs of the press conference are here. Clark Sullivan provides this:

We left San Francisco in the predawn hours with two vanloads of patients to drive up to Auburn for Steve Kubby’s hearing at the Placer County Jail. We were all very concerned about Steve, as he couldn’t even get a Tylenol for his pain and only after a massive call-in campaign to Placer County officials did a sympathetic deputy sheriff give him an extra blanket and pillow. He was receiving Marinol from the prison nurse, but he needs more then THC, the principle active ingredient in Marinol. He was separated from the rest of the inmate population, because his vomiting disturbed the other inmates.

Placer County is the most conservative county in California and District Attorney Brad Fennochio has spent a great deal of tax dollars on persecuting medical cannabis patients. We expected a hostile environment, and knew that news of Steve’s incarceration was the talk of Auburn.

As we were setting up, we talked to an attorney from the Public Defender’s office. She was exasperated and said she was fed up with the Placer County legal system and that she’d be leaving soon to work in Nevada County.

Bill McPike, Steve’s attorney arrived and went to the DA’s office. He said Steve was hanging on and that our presence here was encouraging to him and gave him strength.

The entire Sacramento news media had converged and we decided to start the press conference. I gave them an update on Steve’s condition and answered their questions about Steve’s legal status and tried to clarify a few details about our position, which is: get Steve his medicine, put him in the infirmary or release him to house arrest.

The courtroom was small, holding only fifty people. Only a few folks were able to make it in, but the room was packed. They led the other people in custody in. Steve was led in by himself. He was in shackles, but waved to the crowd and smiled. He looked in good spirits, but slightly disheveled. You could see that he was in obvious pain, but he seemed game to fight on.

The hearing was an afterthought and rescheduled for Friday, February 3rd, 2006 at 8:30 AM.

The Assistant District Attorney Cattran, made a few statements outside, which amounted to a lot of double talk. If Steve dies while in custody, Cattran will be the person responsible.

We are going to continue organizing around Steve’s case and plan to go to Auburn Friday.

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. Has anyone tried getting Kubby’s case to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger? This kind of case should be moved up as high as possible, since it will eventaully reflect on his record. Who knows what will help at this point.

    I’ll also be signing the petition for Corey Maye. It’s good to be passing around case issues like this. It doesn’t matter what party you are for, injustice crosses all boundries.

  2. I called Schwarzenegger’s Los Angeles office and missed the return call, Tuesday. By all means call his offices and leave a message, especially if your time zone allows you to take a return call (it’s hard for me to converse while I’m at work).

    I was hoping Tuesday would resolve this, but I’m ready to call them again when I have a chance. I told them the LP of California endorsed all his reform propositions in the last election.

  3. Signed Corey Maye’s petition, of course. Is the world insane? I just called the Placer County Jail Medical Office to ask that Steve Kubby be allowed to see his own doctor and was informed that he’s receiving “the best medical care” and that he is “extremely pleased with the medical care he is receiving.” Are they high?

  4. I personally know someone who is meeting (has already met) with Schwarzenegger today. This person will attempt to bring up the topic to the CA governor. He is on my IM, so I will know what happens when he gets back home and online.

  5. From Steve (posted on DPf list):

    On the Placer jail medical staff:”The first thing I want to say is that it’s unfortunate I got off to a bad, that things went down the way they did when I first arrived here. I did have every reason to believe that I was being mistreated, but what I now know is that none of that was intentional. It’s just a matter of the medical staff being saddled with an incredible number of rules and regulations. And what I’ve learned is the medical staff here is world-class. The head nurse is ten years out of Stanford hospital. I explained to the medical director, Dr. David Duncan, that the University of California at Irvine has showed conclusively that cannabis affects the production of dopamine, and then he finished my sentence by saying, quote, ‘and dopamine is the precursor to catecholamines.’

  6. (cont’d):

    He said, ‘That makes sense to me.’ His willingness to understand the unique effect that cannabis has on me has been a tremendous benefit in dealing with my health issues.”

    On the need for more calls:

    “I’m asking my supporters to stop calling to complain about my treatment in jail, or with the medical staff, because now that they understand my situation, they are doing everything within their power to help me and protect me. I’ve actually met a number of guards here who impressed me with their professionalism and genuine concern for my welfare.”