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Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: Update II: The Plight of Cory Maye

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Update II: The Plight of Cory Maye

This is some rather old news now but for those of you who are following the Cory Maye case and have not heard Cory Maye will at the very least receive a new death sentencing trail. On September 21st, Judge Michael Eubanks agreed with the defense that Cory Maye’s council, Rhonda Cooper, was incompetent in presenting her case in the death penalty phase. This means that for the time being, Maye is off death row.

Hopefully, there will be more good news to follow. Radley Balko, who has been relentlessly following this case and was present at the hearing, believes it could take “a month or more” before Judge Eubanks makes a decision on the remaining arguments (.pdf) which the defense hopes will result in a complete dismissal of all charges or a new trial.

Besides this news, Balko has uncovered information about the informant who led to the raid on Maye’s apartment. The defense team hired a private investigator and discovered that the name of the informant was Randy Gentry. The defense team tried to set up a meeting with Mr. Gentry but Gentry backed out once he found out who they were. Gentry did, however, give the defense team a gift on their answering machine. The message was laced with profanity and racial slurs and could explain why Maye’s apartment was targeted to begin with. Among some of the most impeachable statements include “I don’t like f---n n---ers” and “the day I help that f---n c--k sucker Cory Maye get out of jail is going to be one hell of a damn day.” You can read the whole message here completely uncensored, but you get the point. The man isn’t one who I would consider a credible witness.

Despite these positive developments, justice is still yet to be done. Balko fears that many in the blogosphere who have been writing about this case will move on since Maye has been temporarily taken off death row.

Balko writes:

Life without parole doesn't carry nearly the same sex appeal as a looming date with the death chamber. I hope that doesn't happen -- I hope the people who've done great work promoting this will case continue to write about it and call attention to it. An innocent life spent in prison isn't a life saved. Cory's two kids will still grow up without a dad. And a good guy will still wrongly waste away his life in a jail cell.

I couldn’t agree more. We cannot become complacent. It is my pledge that I will not stop writing about this case until Cory Maye is a free man. There is even yet another reason why we should continue to write about this case. Apart from the fact that this injustice has received very little media attention (I haven’t even heard about this case on talk radio), Balko was informed by Cory Maye himself (Balko met Maye for the first time outside the courtroom) that the defense team has been printing out blogposts about his case and pass them on to him for encouragement. We should continue to lift Cory’s spirits in any way we can. It cannot be easy spending time in an 8x10 cell, especially when you know that you shouldn’t be there in the first place.

With that in mind, I would like to say a few words directly to Cory if he by chance receives a copy of this post.

Dear Cory,

While the death of Officer Jones is tragic and regrettable, you have no reason to apologize. What happened to Officer Jones was not your fault. The police entered your home in the dark of night with no warning. It is completely understandable that you would believe that you and your daughter’s lives were in danger. You did what any responsible father would do by protecting your daughter and home from intruders. I believe your testimony that you would not have fired your weapon if you knew at the time that you were lawfully being raided by the police. The police should know that when they enter a home of an unsuspecting person that they are taking their own lives at risk and should not find fault with the homeowner when he or she takes measures to protect his or her home.

Whatever you do Cory, don’t lose heart. As you now know there are lots of us out here who are bringing attention to your plight. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” In your case, the injustice occurred in Prentiss, Mississippi but such an injustice could have just as easily happened where I sit in Denver, Colorado to just about anyone.

We’ve got your back Cory. Don’t ever forget that.

Be sure to read Radley Balko’s Cory Maye page for all the latest developments. Events in this case are moving rapidly but Balko has been doing a great job of documenting each turn this story takes and is much more knowledgeable than I. But for all of Balko’s hard work, this story would likely have never been brought to light.

Related posts:
The Plight of Cory Maye
Update I
Collateral Damage of the War at Home (Part I, Part II)


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