Drug Policy

Mississippi Supreme Court To Hear Cory Maye Case

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Yesterday, the Mississippi Supreme Court granted petitions for certiorari to both sides in the Cory Maye case.

Maye was convicted of capital murder in 2002 for shooting and killing police officer Ron Jones during a 2001 drug raid on Maye's home. Maye says he didn't know the men breaking into his home were police. Last year, the Mississippi Court of Appeals granted Maye a new trial on a claim that he should have been permitted to move the trial back to the county where the alleged crime was committed after his trial attorney requested it be moved to another county, then thought better of that request. That ruling dismissed some of his Maye's other claims, but also neglected to address others. The state appealed the court's ruling for a new trial on the venue claim. Once they did, Maye's attorneys filed their own appeal, asking the court to address the other issues the appeals court dismissed or declined to discuss.

The Mississippi State Supreme Court has a pretty high rate of reversal when it takes up cases from the Mississippi Court of Appeals, which would seem to be bad news for Maye. But this case is more complex. The only thing that's clear at this point is that the court is divided.

Looking at the votes to grant cert, four justices granted cert only to Maye's claims. Three justices voted only to grant cert to the state's claims. One justice voted to hear both, and one voted to hear neither. That makes for some complicated reading of the tea leaves.

The court could do several things, here. It could simply uphold the appeals court ruling and send the case back to Jefferson Davis County for a new trial. It could overturn on the venue issue, but grant a new trial on a different claim. It could both uphold the appeals court and rule in Maye's favor on additional claims, which could limit the way the state is permitted to present its case at the new trial. Or, of course, it could overrule the appeals court, dismiss all of Maye's claims, and Maye would be back to life without parole and no prospect of a new trial. There's also a slim possibility that prior case law—particularly the case of Wheeler v. Mississippicould compel the court to actually order an acquittal.

So this may actually be good for Maye, though I suspect he and his attorneys would have preferred the certainty of the court refusing cert and proceeding directly to the new trial.

My 2006 article on Maye's story here. And here's the award-winning Reason.tv documentary on Maye, Mississippi Drug War Blues.


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  1. Considering that we are talking about the Mississippi Supreme Court, I am not holding out great hope.

    But it is still a bit of hope.

    Thanks, Radley.

    1. Don’t thank him. Radley holding out hope is like Lucy holding out a football.

      1. Its hilarious?

  2. The courts and the law have their own peculiar definitions of words. In my state’s traffic court “I was not going that fast” is not an admissible defense, even if you have absolute, ironclad proof. The only evidence they will consider is “Was the officer properly trained?, Was the equipment properly calibrated? and Was the location on a grade of greater than 45 degrees?” That’s it. “The cop made a mistake” is not even possible in the eyes of the law.

    As regards this case, the same thing applies. He shot a cop. It doesn’t matter what the facts are beyond that. Heck, it really doesn’t even matter if he’s the one who pulled the trigger. If another cop had accidentally shot the officer, he’d still be on the hook as long as they could find a way to link his actions to the shooting – such as resisting arrest…

    I really, really doubt that the court will have any interest whatsoever in seeing a just outcome here. Or rather – what we might consider a just outcome. They’ll bend over backwards to see that the system is protected; which means that you can’t pull a gun on a cop under any circumstances. Even if they are unlawfully trespassing on your property in the middle of the night. I guess Mr. Maye should count himself lucky he’s only in jail…

    1. I love the codocil to that story :

      “The settlement, which will be paid in full by the city, covers all parties, including the two officers, James Narcisse and Darrin Green. Narcisse was fired by JSO last year for his role in a scam involving Crime Stoppers.”

    2. In my state’s traffic court “I was not going that fast” is not an admissible defense, even if you have absolute, ironclad proof.

      Is there a case where that actually happened?

  3. Maye says he didn’t now the men

    I think you meant “know the men”

    … Hobbit

  4. About damn time. Way to stay on this Radley.

  5. FREE CORY MAYE!!!

    Also, second paragraph, third sentence, should be county, not country, confused me for a second.

      1. I agree. Why haven’t our “brave men and women in uniform” done something to protect Cory’s freedom? Like emancipate him, even if it means killing LEOs?

        1. Wow, that is, without doubt, the most retarded, excuse the word, comment I have ever read on this site, bar none.

        2. Should they also murder the men and women of the jury who convicted Mayge and the judge who presided over the case as well, or do you just advocate the murder of police officers?

          Seriously, some of the shit that is written on this site in a desperate attempt to appear “more libertarian than thou” is so fucking stupid, it is hard to believe anyone can type and think then think to themselves “no, that doesn’t make me look like a complete fucking jackass”. Advocating the murder of law enforcement? Christ, you are a pathetic fucking loser, without doubt.

          1. And yes I realize I misspelled Maye’s name in the above post. Shit, you better advocate for my murder as well, you fucking degenerate.

          2. It’s not libertymike’s fault that he was born a honkie.

          3. Advocating the murder of law enforcement? Christ, you are a pathetic fucking loser, without doubt.

            Were not the SS who were razing the Warsaw Ghetto law enforcement?

        3. Yeah, we’re overdue for a military Coup De Rat, right?

          1. or is that coup de ratfuck these days?

  6. Why do I have the feeling that this is a set up for an all-time ball kick?

    I mean, the MSC announces on a Friday that they will hear the case? And Balko reports what by should be a good news story – on a Friday?

  7. That sounds pretty messed up to me dude. Seriously.

    Lou
    http://www.web-anonymity.mx.tc

  8. This was such a travesty of justice. I hope and pray Cory Maye gets this conviction overturned.

  9. LOL, the Supreme Kangaroo court is gonna get involved, thats funny.

    Lou
    http://www.web-anonymity.mx.tc

    1. Sometimes the anonymity bot is so spot on, it’s frightening.

      1. Its only frightening if you don’t accept their eventual supremacy over ManKind. I for one….AHHH ive been eaten by nanobots……

        (STFU luddites, or else I’ll invent the tech to SHUT YOU UP, permanently. Cones of silence shouldnt be too difficult.)

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    1. Friends don’t let friends do Mescaline and type……

  11. I hope Maye can be having a good days as we. let he live a peaceful life.

  12. Maye was convicted of capital murder in 2002 for shooting and killing police officer Ron Jones during a 2001 drug raid on Maye’s home?? i hope law can slove this events quickly!

  13. See the book The Skeptical Juror and The Trial of Cory Maye for substantial evidence that the police falsified evidence at Maye’s trial to secure a conviction.

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