Cory Maye Freed After 10 Years In Prison: The Back Story

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43 Responses to “Cory Maye Freed After 10 Years In Prison: The Back Story”

  1. awjtawjt says:

    It might be worth it for him to think about leaving Mississippi.

  2. Gulliver says:

    I guess your home is your castle unless it’s the State invading, in which case self-defense and protection of your children and property gets you ten years on death row.

    I hope the Jefferson Davis County municipal government gets sued into the ground for this. Not that that’d give the man back his decade spent in hell, or his children back their father, but just maybe it would make the local government think twice before sending the Prentiss Police on Gestapo-esque raids.

    From the sounds of the article, though, he’s practically being run out of town. Just remember, Mississippians, any one of you could be next. You don’t back up Maye and you might as well invite the government to smash down your door as well.

    For the record, I don’t see the cops as the problem here; Officer Jones’ death was a tragedy. I see the so-called “justice” system as the problem, and particularly the unconstitutional tactics stomping on the liberties of Americans in the name of morality enforcement. Cory Maye may have pulled the trigger, but the War on Drugs killed Ron Jones, Jr.

    Half a century of Cold War spent fighting the Soviets so we could wind up emulating them! Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev are laughing their ass off in hell over a bottle of vodka.

    • Stonewalker says:

      I think the cops are part of the problem, but perhaps the smallest cog in the problem machine. These raids need to be questioned at every level. The system is corrupt yes, but the guys on the ground level need to question their orders. “Maybe next time I will get shot?” These should be real concerns for anybody breaking into a house at night, especially when it’s an agent of the state.

      The justice system actually works extremely well, we need to tweak quite a few things to destroy the elitist/classist concessions it makes though. We are not sheep, police are not our masters.

      Fight for your rights people, donate to the EFF, go out and Activate and Advocate. Don’t throw the Bill of Rights under the bus as an “out-dated” document – it is literally where we get most of our protections in the justice system.

      • Gulliver says:

        Cops can be part of the problem. But even Maye respected the guy who’s brass got him killed. In the end, it’s the laws that have to change if we want to see any meaningful reform. It does no good to say we’re only going to elect hard-ass politicians who pass laws we don’t like results of, then hold the cops responsible for enforcing them. It’s time for Americans to stoop legislating reflexively then getting buyer’s remorse when the ill-planned policies backfire.

        That’s just my opinion, and I’m not saying there aren’t cops that abuse their authority. But the Drug War is an abuse of legislative authority.

        • Stonewalker says:

          “Cops can be part of the problem.”

          I agree with you, I tried to come off as respectful but wary of police in my post but I guess I didn’t do that so well. Meaningful change demands respect among all parties. I just wanted to make the point that the boots-on-the-ground officers need to start questioning their role in our society or else things are going to be MUCH more difficult.

          • Gulliver says:

            No, you didn’t come off a disrespectful. I just wanted to point out that this doesn’t appear to be a police brutality situation, just bad public policy and worse coordination by the department tasked with enforcing it.

            I didn’t mean to sound like I was reproaching you’re comment.

            I’ve been on the receiving end of cops that are a disgrace to their badges, and I’ve dealt with cops that are good, honest, loyal public servants trying to do a dangerous job for crap pay. Corruption should always be punished, but the War on Drugs is a bigger systemic problem out society has to address at the legislative level.

            You’re right that cops shouldn’t follow orders without any question. But to expect them not to enforce drug laws is unrealistic. Most of us probably are wary of cops, but would be warier of a society totally devoid of law enforcement. We need to hold them accountable, but we also need to give them straight signals and not get pissed when they enforce the stupid laws we create. And yes, I know politicians pass the laws; but politicians are like any parasitic organism, they’ll do what it takes to get reelected.

      • Anonymous says:

        Aha, but they wont get shot if we citizens just learn to accept that every time your door gets kicked in it’s better to automatically submit, even if you don’t hear “POLICE!!!!”. Pretty F-d up, yes?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      He has to plead to culpable negligence manslaughter to get this deal, which probably limits his opportunities for redress. He should get a million dollars for each year that he was inside and another ten million for his time on death row.

      • Stonewalker says:

        Right, this is still a terrible outcome for his situation. He will likely have felony convictions against him for the rest of his life, limiting him in MANY ways. He is now an even lower class than he used to be (as a black male).

        • Victor Drath says:

          I was about to say the same thing, man. It’s just a shame. Even if he were pardoned (which is unlikely), the record does not go away. No one will employ him, same for maybe a small building contractor or something similar. He also will have problems finding a decent place to live due to background checks many landlords do these days.

          I don’t think these cops that do this kind of thing worry about being next, I think these are the kind of dudes who get off on the action, playin tough, barking orders at others. They enjoy thinking they’re our masters and coming into your home is the pinnacle of that power.

      • Gulliver says:

        If I were him, I’d be more satisfied with a million bucks, his kids’ college tuition and real government action to change these life-destroying policies. As long as I’m fantasizing about the government owning up to its mistakes, the county should double Officer Jones’ benefits to his family as well for getting him killed on a fool’s errand.

  3. Sagodjur says:

    Another victim of the “War on Drugs.” How many lives have been ruined because politicians want to seem tough on “crime” and pharmaceutical companies don’t want competition?

  4. jonw says:

    The man shot an intruder in his own house… I thought that kind of thing was encouraged in the South? Incredible that they are still pinning a felony conviction on him, and tragic that this man has been manipulated into feeling guilty for what he did.

    • Gulliver says:

      I didn’t get the impression he felt ashamed; he knew he was trying to protect his children. I think he was grieving for the officer, who he apparently knew and respected. Google shows this is a small town with under 2,000 residents in a country of some 12,000. I imagine most people who’ve lived there a while know one another.

  5. Rindan says:

    Winning the war on drugs!

    I personally love it how all three of the last three presidents would be in jail (and certainly not presidents) if they had gotten caught for their drug related crimes, but still they merrily enforce these horrific laws.

    I wonder how it feels to strip the liberty and ruin the lives of millions for a “crime” that you have committed? The fact that those shitheads can sleep at night is a testament to their character, and not in a good way.

  6. Mister44 says:

    What bullshit. He should be completely free and clear. I tell you this – it could just as easily have been me in this situation (well, other than I don’t think any of my neighbors are drug dealers to be confused in a raid. Maybe that old lady, Miss Laura. She is kind of a bitch. Maybe its from years of slinging coke.) Anyway – if a SWAT team busted into my house and I didn’t hear or understand in the heat of the moment WTF was going on, you can bet someone on their side being killed or wounded.

    First off it AMAZES me how often SWAT gets raids wrong. I mean – you have one fucking job to do it. Google Maps for christsake. Never mind they are as completely unnecessary as the war on drugs itself. People bitch and moan about the TSA or what ever – it’s the Drug War that has eroded more of you civil liberties than anything else.

    @Ridan re: “I personally love it how all three of the last three presidents would be in jail (and certainly not presidents) if they had gotten caught for their drug related crimes… ”

    Are you high? All of them have the ways and means to make any charges disappear or get pleaded down to jay walking. Poor black kids are who go to prison for pot.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Winning the war on drugs!

  8. Brainspore says:

    Let’s not make this whole discussion about what a horribly flawed idea the War on Drugs is. After all, there’s also the Death Penalty to think about here.

    • Gulliver says:

      Not opposed to a topic expansion, but Maye didn’t deserve punishment period. He acted in clear self-defense. A fine would’ve been excessive.

      My opinion on the death penalty is that if someone commits premeditated murder and it can be proven absolutely (not just a reasonable preponderance of evidence but proof), then the only punishment proportional to the crime is death. To be clear, I am not saying the punishment needs to be the crime, but it should fit it and I know of no other punishment that fits premeditated murder. Since the vast majority of capital cases seem to hinge on evidence that is not proof, that criteria would exclude most, but not all, executions. If someone doesn’t want to be executed, that person doesn’t have to murder anyone else in cold blood; it’s their choice.

      Having had this discussion many times in the past, I know this isn’t a popular opinion with either side of the debate, but it’s what I believe. Obviously this is a very polarizing issue, and I mean no disrespect to anyone else’s beliefs, religious or otherwise.

      • Brainspore says:

        My opinion on the death penalty is that if someone commits premeditated murder and it can be proven absolutely (not just a reasonable preponderance of evidence but proof), then the only punishment proportional to the crime is death.

        There are no absolutes. That’s why our justice system uses “beyond a reasonable doubt” for criminal cases (preponderance of evidence is only enough for civil cases).

        Perfection is unattainable in any system. That’s why I don’t think we should grant those systems the power to kill people who don’t pose a clear and immediate threat to others.

        • Cowicide says:

          Not to mention the death penalty is no way for humans to evolve.

          I understand the carnal instincts of wanting to kill those who have killed the innocent. There’s even a part of me that would love to see scum like Murdoch and the Koch brothers get charged with treason and executed if found guilty. But, then we as a society would be sinking to their level… to the level of the scoundrels we seek vengeance upon… and all of society suffers.

          Killing another person (eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth) in vengeance is barbaric and medieval. If human are ever to evolve, we need to jettison the death penalty and focus on empathy.

          And, before anyone says I don’t know because no one I love has ever been killed. I do know.

          I have no qualms about killing in self-defense, but murdering someone in captivity is wrong on multiple levels. I didn’t always feel this way, but over the years I evolved from that way of thinking and I think I’m for the better for it.

          • Brainspore says:

            Killing another person (eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth) in vengeance is barbaric and medieval. If human are ever to evolve, we need to jettison the death penalty and focus on empathy.

            Agree 100%. Maybe that rapist does deserve to know what his victims went through, but it would take a pretty sick society to employ a crack team of professional rapist-rapers.

      • penguinchris says:

        Maybe it’s just because I mostly agree with you, but I don’t see how that opinion would be unpopular with both sides. Do people in favor of the death penalty not agree that it should take quite a lot of evidence/proof? You’d have to be pretty sick to strongly advocate the death penalty in cases where there is substantial doubt, even if the court finds them guilty.

        I think the only reasonable way to be pro-death-penalty is to be moderate about it. And to be clear, again, I am pro-death-penalty in the same way you are – irrefutable evidence or proof should be enough to bring the option to the table, but otherwise, probably not. I would strongly prefer that the court errs on the side of letting guilty people off, rather than falsely convicting (or killing) innocents.

        • Gulliver says:

          Maybe it’s just because I mostly agree with you, but I don’t see how that opinion would be unpopular with both sides. Do people in favor of the death penalty not agree that it should take quite a lot of evidence/proof? You’d have to be pretty sick to strongly advocate the death penalty in cases where there is substantial doubt, even if the court finds them guilty.

          I’m probably shouldn’t make such oversimplifications. It’s just that I have several friends who have a general objection to any form of killing. Three Christian friends of mine – and they’re the genuine article that take Christ’s teachings seriously and don’t listen unquestioningly to dogmatic preachers interpreting the Bible for them – believe that only God can take a life. I respect them, but I know we’ll never agree on their grounds for objecting to all capital punishment. Plus, it’s a poignant topic in general, and rightly so, but while I stand by what I believe, I have no desire to distress others.

          On the other hand, there are the individuals who tweet things like “fry the bitch” about that women who was just acquitted (it’s amazing how much of that crap penetrates my awareness when I don’t have television; headlines can be really obnoxious). Anyway, I’m happy to say none such vile people are my friends, but that kind of eager bloodlust makes me want to vomit. I don’t know how much of the population they make up, by they’re certainly loud in the media enough when they get a’lynchin.

          I think the only reasonable way to be pro-death-penalty is to be moderate about it. And to be clear, again, I am pro-death-penalty in the same way you are – irrefutable evidence or proof should be enough to bring the option to the table, but otherwise, probably not. I would strongly prefer that the court errs on the side of letting guilty people off, rather than falsely convicting (or killing) innocents.

          As would I. In my opinion, the standard of evidence for capital convictions in those democratic States that practice them is hideously low (no point even mentioning the things for which nondemocratic States execute their citizens). Convincing a jury beyond a reasonable doubt just doesn’t cut it. I want to see proof, not just a large body of evidence.

      • Rindan says:

        I think that there are very few people who have any real moral hangups about killing someone who raped and murdered a dozen children or whatnot. Pretty much everyone, with very few exceptions, agree that it is just to kill such a person in retribution. This doesn’t make them pro-death penalty.

        What makes you pro-death penalty is the belief that we have the ability to accurately assign guilt. How many innocent people need to be falsely sentenced to death before it is too many? Is 1 in 10 okay? 1 in 100? 1 in 1000?

        I’m all for killing murders. I am against the death penalty. I just don’t think that our justice system is that good. I don’t think it is good enough to weed out “this guy is totally 100% guilty” from “this guy is probably guilty” in a reliable way. That is the way the death penalty is already supposed to be setup and we know with absolute certainty that we have killed a disturbing number of innocent people. Being stuck in jail until the day you die is a pretty miserable punishment and while you can’t give someone back time lost, at least you can let them live some of what is left of their life in peace.

        So sure, we are all for killing off the worst. Unlike you, I just don’t have any faith that our justice system has the capacity to separate all of those people from the truly innocent.

        • Anonymous says:

          What makes you pro-death penalty is the belief that we have the ability to accurately assign guilt.

          Speak for yourself, please.

          I am in favor of the death penalty because I feel that imprisonment is crueler than death, and because I would much rather die than live in prison.

          What is death, that you should fear it so? Do you believe you are bound for eternal torment, or that the world ends when you die? Death is the Gift of Man, the final comfort that awaits us all when our time is through.

          I have some small experience of imprisonment and restriction. Please, give me death first. Don’t paint your fears and your philosophies on me, and don’t expect me to share your wish for life at all costs. Death is OK.

          • Cowicide says:

            I am in favor of the death penalty because I feel that imprisonment is crueler than death

            I’m not sure you’d feel that way if you were falsely imprisoned and hoping for further evidence to come out and exonerate you down the road.

            Would you?

        • Cowicide says:

          I think that there are very few people who have any real moral hangups about killing someone who raped and murdered a dozen children or whatnot. Pretty much everyone, with very few exceptions, agree that it is just to kill such a person in retribution. This doesn’t make them pro-death penalty. … I’m all for killing murders. I am against the death penalty. …

          Eating ice cream doesn’t make you an ice cream eater!

        • Mister44 says:

          re: “I’m all for killing murders. I am against the death penalty.”

          I understand what you’re saying. Awhile ago I came to the same conclusion.

          The concept is a good one – but in practice it is flawed. First there are those on death row who are later exonerated. The other big problem I have with the death penalty is that it is used as leverage to get people to plea out or confess to a lesser charge.

        • Gulliver says:

          I’m all for killing murders. I am against the death penalty. I just don’t think that our justice system is that good. I don’t think it is good enough to weed out “this guy is totally 100% guilty” from “this guy is probably guilty” in a reliable way. That is the way the death penalty is already supposed to be setup and we know with absolute certainty that we have killed a disturbing number of innocent people.

          Anyone who follows the litany of death row inmates and executed convicts who are exonerated by DNA evidence proving, years or decades after their trial, that they didn’t commit the crime cannot reasonably accept the standards of evidence presently required. We may not agree on where murder can be proven, but, reiterating what I said to penguinchris, I think we agree, at least, that the current standards are simply unacceptable.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          I don’t support killing people even if I know that they committed the crime. I also don’t support murderers getting paroled after a decade, which seems to be the new fad, particularly in Europe.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            Attend many European parole hearings, do you? “Fad”, you say?

            People ought to only be in prison, and remain in prison, if it does some good.

            Beyond providing profits to those who were sold (or given?) the right to profit from the imprisonment of their fellow citizens, that is. Those particular folks think that sentences should be much longer, and more severe, and which never carry any possibility of remission, reduction, or release, whatsoever, beyond serving every minute of the sentence.

            Better to spend taxes on ensuring “prison profits”, than on health care or welfare for the poor and struggling – that might lead to less prison profits in the future, after all, and we would not want that!

  9. Magnus Redin says:

    Why do a significant number of US police forces have such a hurry to arrest people?

  10. ncinerate says:

    It’s terrible to imagine this sort of thing happening. I could easily see how a person with a family woken from a dead sleep in the middle of the night and confronted with armed home invaders might attempt to fight before he had time to realize it was police doing a drug raid on the wrong house.

    A decade in prison for this and a criminal record even after he’s been released is just plain disgusting. The whole thing is a tragedy all the way around, everyone could agree this is a horrible situation, ruining this man’s already damaged life isn’t a way to move forward in a positive way.

    Then again, our legal system is scary in every single way – something I didn’t realize growing up. I know a man sitting in a jail cell here in Phoenix today (an old friend). He’s been there since this last thanksgiving. There’s been no trial as-yet, and he’s been denied bail because the crime he’s accused of is against a minor. He’s simply waiting as the process completes, waiting on his chance to actually have a say in court, sitting in one of AZ’s lovely jails. The Sheriff here prides himself on getting inmate meal costs to less than the cost they spend to feed their drug dogs. If you go to “visit” him, you get to sit on one end of a video-screen and talk to him while he sits completely separated in another room.

    He’s accused of having sex with a minor – she’s 19 now, was supposedly 14 at the time the sex happened. She came forward -now- (years and years later) with no -physical- evidence and nothing except her word and a friend of hers acting as a witness to “prove” she was actually involved physically (supposedly consensual at the time, so statutory rape) with my friend.

    Now I’m not trying to diminish the seriousness of this sort of offense vs a minor, and it’s possible things happened exactly as described, but considering the time it took her to come forward and the complete lack of any sort of evidence it seems insane that he’d be instantly imprisoned with no bail for the better part of the year without so much as a trial.

    His lawyer told him to plead out guilty and take a lesser charge/sentence, because the judge is likely to throw the book at him if he fights it and loses. He has a new lawyer now and is putting in his “not guilty”. Meanwhile his parents have a brand new mortgage on their formerly paid-off house (to pay for his lawyer), his career is over (he was in a high-paying position – good luck getting that back after a short background check). Google his name and all you get is “child molester”.

    It’s draconian. This sort of thing could happen to anyone. Make the wrong teen aged girl angry and you could be rotting in a cell eating green baloney for months on end with no end in sight. Shoot an armed intruder who bursts into your dark house in the middle of the night and you’re facing death row. Disgusting.

  11. Stonewalker says:

    People largely have no idea how the justice system actually works. They think it should run on “common sense” (which is an incredibly vague, misleading and disingenuous term), when in reality there are some extremely complex rules that every party must follow when convicting a bad guy (or good guy in this case). Those extremely complex rules protect US, as in, we the people. Most people don’t even understand what Due Process of Law means, nor do they care.

    I haven’t read much about he Casey case yet, but I’d would much rather a guilty person go free than a person like Mr. Maye go to prison. Unfortunately, “the system” tends to blur the lines of those complex rules I mentioned when it comes to somebody taking action against it. It’s a friggen shame, but at least he is out now… I wonder if he will be able to live a normal life now… So sad.

  12. Ipo says:

    I don’t support granting governments the right to kill population, under any circumstances.
    In fact I would grant nobody at all a right to kill anyone else, unless that person has specifically requested so.

  13. phisrow says:

    I would be fascinating to see some opinion polling on this case. It seems like it combines typically opposed social/emotional values in a way that would make it an interesting litmus test:

    This is pretty clearly a case of “poor black male gets railroaded and unjustly sentenced in the south as part of war on drugs”, which should find ready sympathy on the left, and substantially less sympathy among “law-and-order” or outright racist elements.

    On the other hand, this is also a case of “Man exercises 2nd amendment rights against home invasion to protect family, gets crushed by the State” which should be NRA catnip, as well as being extremely sympathetic to Balko-style libertarians-worried-about-the-not-so-covert-encroachment-of-the-police-state; but would certainly make some bleeding heart liberals of my acquaintance pretty squeamish.

    There’s a little something for everyone; but paired with another little something that tends in the exact opposite cultural direction. It would be very interesting to see which elements win out with which people and groups…

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