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Posted by on Jul 30, 2011 in At TMV | 3 comments

Justice (at last) for Cory Maye

After spending nearly ten years in prison, Cory Maye is finally free. The story, which was first brought to the attention of the internet community by Radley Balko in December 2005, involved Maye, a black man who was convicted or murder and subsequently sentenced to death row after shooting and killing Prentiss, Mississippi police officer Ron Jones, Jr. during a botched drug raid in December 2001. A detailed overview of the story can be found over at the Huffington Post.

There are a lot of people who deserve recognition for aiding Cory Maye in his nearly ten year struggle to win his freedom. Particularly deserving of praise is Bob Evans, the Jefferson Davis County public defender who was fired by the Prentiss Board Alderman for taking on Maye’s case as appellate counsel. Also in need of recognition is Abe Pawford, the associate at the Washington D.C. law firm Covington and Burling who agreed to take on Maye’s case pro bono.

Of course, I wouldn’t be doing justice to this story without offering special recognition to Radley Balko, whose tireless investigative journalism brought this story to a much wider audience. Libertarians are often maligned by their critics as being “selfish” and lacking “compassion.” Yet here’s a libertarian who had the courage to act upon his convictions and was able to help get a wrongfully convicted man off of death row. How many of the rest of us bloggers can claim likewise?

I strongly urge TMV readers to watch the video below. It not only provides a brief overview of many of the facts behind the Cory Maye case but also raises some very serious concerns regarding the role that race plays in America’s criminal justice system, the War on Drugs, the use of confidential informants in securing search warrants, and the use of paramilitary style raids to serve such warrants.

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  • Allen

    Mississippi is the most racist state in the Union IMO. I’ve had a few learning experiences down there myself during the early eighties, as well as Plaquemines Parish Louisiana. Not because of my race, but because of what I believed about race in gemeral. I’m glad to see this young man freed.

  • Thanks for bringing this story out Nick.

    It’s sick that the officer died, the suspect gets 10 years (much more if it weren’t for principled people willing to make sacrifices and take risks), but there is no mention of the people that made the mess.

  • Obviously, when it comes to botched drug raids, a significant portion of the blame lies with the law enforcement officers that carried out the raids.

    However, we shouldn’t trick ourselves into believing that sad stories like Cory Maye’s are simply “isolated incidents” or that a few “bad apples” in law enforcement are completely to blame.

    Law enforcement officers are simply enforcing the laws that politicians in the state and federal government have legislated. The vast majority of these legislators lack any amount of scientific or medical backgrounds and seemingly lack even the most basic understanding of economics with regards to the black markets that are created as a direct result of prohibition.

    If stories like Cory Maye’s upset you, then you need to act on your convictions. Politicians (Republican and Democrat) continue to support the War on Drugs because Americans continue to vote for them. If you continue to vote for such Republicans and Democrats, then your vote will be interpretated as a vote in favor of the War on Drugs whether you support it or not.

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