Wed 22 Feb, 2006 04:34 pm
Here is something you have never seen before, nor will ever probably see happen again...
Fedral agitating for a person on Death Row to be released, but here it is, in all its glory. (Try not to have any breakables around when reading the story, I lost a perfectly good tumbler after it mysteriously hit the wall.)
Details of the Case
Cory Maye shot and killed a police officer when that officer burst into his home on December 26, 2001. Cory lived in one side of a duplex. On the other side was a certain Mr. Jamie Smith. In a surprise midnight raid, the officers stormed Smith's side. A local police officer, Ron Jones, went around to break in the other side of the building, into the other unit of the duplex. And on that side lived Cory Jermaine Maye.
Maye was awakened from sleep by the commotion at the door, went into the bedroom and fired at an intruder. This was after the intruder had broken down the back door and entered the living room, and was coming toward the bedroom. The officer was hit by one .380 caliber bullet in the abdomen. He staggered back out of the apartment and died some hours later.
Search warrants had been procured by the police for the side containing Smith, naming him by name. For the side containing Maye the search warrant just said "unknown occupants". Police statements indicate that Maye and was not the target of the raid. Maye claimed he fired in self defense at intruders fearing for himself and his 18 month old daughter. The man he killed, Officer Ron Jones, was the son of the police chief of Prentiss, Mississippi.
Maye was convicted in 2004 by a jury comprised of ten whites and two blacks. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
All the details can be found here:
I was 100% behind the execution of Tookie Williams for the actual crimes he committed, but this case is a travesty of the first water.
Where are the hundreds of protestors, where are the Hollywood types throwing themselves in front of the cameras to help save this man?
Please read this and write the Governor and let him know that this man should be saved ...
I don't know what else to say, but ... Help us save him.
He was found guilty of MURDER?
Writing a letter as soon as I get off here. This is absolutely the biggest travesty of justice I have ever heard of. I have heard of being sued by an intruder that was shot in self-defense but THE DEATH PENALTY?!!!!! What is this world coming to? I know some other people who will gladly write letters also.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Sometime in late 2001, Officer Ron Jones collected a tip from an anonymous informant that Jamie Smith, who lived opposite Maye in a duplex, was selling drugs out of his home. Jones passed the tip to the Pearl River Basin Narcotics Task Force, a regional police agency in charge of carrying out drug raids in four surrounding counties. The task force asked Jones if he'd like to come along on the raid they'd be conducting as the result of his tip. He obliged.
On the night of December 26, the task force donned paramilitary gear, and conducted a drug raid on Smith's house. Unfortunately, they hadn't done their homework. The team didn't realize that the house was a duplex, and that Maye -- who had no relationship with Smith,-- rented out the other side with his girlfirend and 1-year-old daughter.
As the raid on Smith commenced, some officers - including Jones -- went around to what they thought was a side door to Smith's residence, looking for a larger stash of drugs. (Note added on 12/12: This is Maye's first attorney's account of the raid. Police did have a warrant to both residences, though Maye wasn't named in either.) The door was actually a door to Maye's home. Maye was home alone with his young daughter, and asleep, when one member of the SWAT team broke down the outside door. Jones, who hadn't drawn his gun charged in, and made his way to Maye's bedroom. Police did not announce themselves. (Note added on 12/09/05: Police said at trial that they did announce themselves before entering Maye's apartment -- Maye and his attorney say otherwise. I'm inclined to believe Maye, for reasons outlined in this post. However, even if they did, announcing seconds before bursting in just before midnight, isn't much better than not announcing at all. An innocent person on the other end of the raid, particularly if still asleep, has every reason to fear for his life.). Maye, fearing for his life and the safety of his daughter, fired at Jones, hitting him in the abdomen, just below his bulletproof vest. Jones died a short time later.
Maye had no criminal record, and wasn't the target of the search warrant. Police initially concluded they had found no drugs in Maye's side of the duplex. Then, mysteriously, police later announced they'd found "traces" of marijuana. I talked to the attorney who represented Maye at trial. She said that to her knowledge, police had found one smoked marijuana cigarette in Maye's apartment. Regardless, since Maye wasn't the subject of the search, whether or not he had misdemeanor amounts of drugs in his possession isn't really relevant. What's relevant is whether or not he reasonably believed his life was in danger. Seems pretty clear to me that that would be a reasonable assumption.
It apparently wasn't so clear to Mississippi's criminal justice system. In January of last year, Maye was convicted of capital murder for the shooting of Officer Jones. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Let's summarize: Cops mistakenly break down the door of a sleeping man, late at night, as part of drug raid. Turns out, the man wasn't named in the warrant, and wasn't a suspect. The man, frightened for himself and his 18-month old daughter, fires at an intruder who jumps into his bedroom after the door's been kicked in. Turns out that the man, who is black, has killed the white son of the town's police chief. He's later convicted and sentenced to death by a white jury. The man has no criminal record, and police rather tellingly changed their story about drugs (rather, traces of drugs) in his possession at the time of the raid.[/b]
How the hell did he get the death penalty? If someone breaks down my door in the middle of the night, my first thought is going to be "home invasion" and I'd draw my gun too. What a crying shame.
Well, I'm certainly glad to know there is no racial bigotry left in america and this was simply a matter of killing the police chiefs son.
This seems to be the center of it, as far as I can tell (still researching):
- At the time of his death, Jones was the son of the Prentiss, Mississippi police chief. Chief Jones is now retired.
- Maye is black. Jones was white.
hung jury anyone? I'd volunteer but I'm solidly against cpaital punishment.
Why haven't "60 Minutes" or Geraldo been given a "heads up"? This sounds like a travesty of justice that needs to be brought out into the light of day, and given a lot of publicity.
Incredible! Something should be done.
By the way, this is one of my biggest problems with the death penalty, in general. While reading up on it, I found a lot of stuff about how this happened in 2001 (?) and then languished until last year when someone came across it and started agitating and it spread across the blogosphere. The first lawyer he had had never tried a case like this before. There are so many travesties of justice that never see the light of day.
(All of the above holds true based on stuff that's already happened -- this case seems to be the real deal, an actual railroading/ travesty, but I'm not discounting the possibility that the stuff we've seen so far has been biased/ leaves out important info. Doesn't seem like it, so far, but not discounting the possibility.)
Well Sozobe, perhaps we can all do something about this case. It's a place to start. I'm going to post it on another forum site and am telling everyone I know.
No supreme court appeal? Ok, ok, I'll quit asking questions and go read the articles.