Tuesday, December 13, 2005

So, what about Cory Maye?

There was - up until Cato Institute Policy Analyst Radley Balko recently uncovered it - a little known death penalty case in Mississippi concerning a Black man by the name of Cory Maye. But, the NAACP, ACLU, Rev. Jackson, Danny Glover, Jamie Foxx, assorted Black Congressional Members and other high profile bling heads of the Black gliterrati wouldn't know or tell you about Maye as they sweat Stanley Tookie Williams in a bid to pimp camera coverage. Why do we sound so hardcore and brutal about this? Because, as we hint in our recent editorial ("The Death of One"), it seems like one must somehow qualify or fit certain criteria to deserve serious media attention to their cause. In this case, Cory Maye would probably need to establish a notorious underground criminal organization that caused much pain and suffering for countless Black folks, then - in a turn of "redemption" spurred by that epiphany known as "death row" - write kids books and put a Mumia spin on his disposition.

But, the poor, unemployed, father of an 18 month old daughter he was simply defending in a moment of violent confusion prompted by an invading local SWAT team is just that: poor, unemployed and unknown.

Kim Pearson, Associate Professor at the College of New Jersey, made us aware of this story with her blog summary of Balko's lengthy expose' on this:

Late on the night of December 26, 2001, Cory Maye, 21, laid asleep in his Prentiss, Mississippi duplex apartment, with his 1-year-old daughter in a crib nearby. A armed man entered his bedroom. Maye shot the man, who turned out to Ronald Jones, 29, part of a police SWAT team searching for drugs. Jones, the son of the local police chief, died from his wound. No drugs were found in Maye's apartment, although a search of the grounds and the adjoining property produced evidence leading to the arrest Maye's neighbor, Jamie Smith, for drug possession and trafficking. Despite Maye's contention that the shooting was in self-defense, a jury convicted him of murder in January, 2004, and he was sentenced to die by lethal injection.

When going further and deeper into Balko's copious note taking in his blog The Agitator and painstaking research on Maye, one is bound to see how seriously egregious this case really is. But, it takes a firebrand, young White libertarian from the Cato Institute to make us all aware of this unfortunate young Black man's story in Mississippi where it is looking like a serious miscarriage of justice is about to take place - and it seems no one is marching 25 miles or pitching calls for clemency.