The following is an example of justice gone horribly wrong.
In fact, to call it justice would be a total perversion of the concept.
Picture this senario.
You’re asleep in your house, and someone breaks down your door and enters.
That alone would make me think of shooting someone.
But, as if that wasn’t enough, the individual who has just broken into your home is dressed in paramilitary gear and armed, and you have a child to protect.
Now, unless you absolutely abhor guns and violence, your first thought will most likely be to defend your home and your family, and in most cases, you’d be perfectly within the law to do so.
But according to Radley Balko, Cory Maye has been convicted and sentenced to death for doing exactly that.
Late in 2001, Oficer Ron Jones collected a tip that Jamie Smith, who lived opposite Cory Maye in a duplex, was selling drugs out of his home.
Jones passed the tip on to the Pearl River Basin Narcotics Task Force, a regional police agency charged with the task of conducting drug raids in Prentiss, Mississippi and four surrounding counties.
As a reward for his tip, Jones was given the opportunity to come along on the raid, and he accepted.
On the night of December 26th, the members of the task force donned paramilitary gear, and conducted a drug raid on Smith’s house.
Since they neglected to practice due diligence, they failed to realize that the other half of the duplex was rented by Maye and his girlfriend with their one-year-old daughter, and that Maye had no relationship with Smith.
As the raid progressed, Jones and other officers went around to what they thought was a side door to Smith’s house, broke it down, and entered, looking for a bigger stash.
Jones was unarmed, which further damns the police, in my oppinion, because it indicates that they believed that the other side of the duplex was also Smith’s residence.
At trial, the police said that they announced themselves.
I’m inclined to disbelieve this, because they wouldn’t have entered the other side of the duplex unarmed if they believed it was someone else’s residence, and if they believed it was part of Smith’s residence, they wouldn’t have announced themselves a second time after having already entered from the side that actually belonged to Smith.
For the sake of argument, we’ll concede that the police announced themselves.
If I’m asleep in my home, and someone breaks in, what they’re announcing isn’t the first thing I’d think of when I was awakened by all the noise.
I’d awaken to the realization that someone was breaking into my house, and I’d do exactly what May did.
Maye had no prior record, and thus had no reason to assume that the cops would be stopping by for a late night peak around the place.
Fearing for his life and the life of his daughter, he fired on Jones, hitting him in the abdomen, just below his bullet-proof vest.
Jones died a short time later from his wounds.
Maye wasn’t the target of the search warrant.
And, though the police initially concluded that no drugs were found in his apartment, they later announced that traces of cocaine and marijuana were found.
Even if drugs had been found, the find would be irrelevant, since the warrant didn’t apply to Maye.
Anyone who watches Law And Order would know that, so the cops definitely should.
The trial jury overlooked this fact, and convicted Maye in January of 2004.
He was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Apparently the facts of the case never entered the Jury’s collective mind.
They convicted Maye because they didn’t like his lawyer, thought he was spoiled by his grandmother, and had no respect for authority figures.
Ain’t justice grand.
And as if that weren’t enough of a travisty, the same elites who can manage to defend a man like Stanley Tookie Williams because they say he’s reformed, can’t manage to come to the defense of a man whose civil rights have been violated in the worst way possible.
No one’s making TV movies, no one’s protesting.
They’re just content to let him sit in jail, awaiting his execution.
I believe that the reason this case hasn’t garnered any celebrity support is because there’s no political angle to it.
In other words, there’s nothing to be gained by supporting this man.
There’s more publicity in supporting a gang founder who’s been nominated for a Peace Prize.
I agree with Glen Reynolds that this man should never have been charged, and that the person acting unreasonably bears the risk.
Jones’s death was a tragedy, but one that could have been prevented.
Jones put himself in the situation, and paid the consequences.
I think this case is a prime example of why no knock raids should be illegal.
I can’t think of any reason why the police need to enter anyone’s home unannounced.
One final point.
As much as I hate it when people play the race card, or the preference card, or whatever card they think they can use in order to get their way, this time it looks like it actually applies.
Cory Maye is a black man, Jones was a white cop, as well as the son of the Prentiss Chief of Police, and the jury was white.
You connect the dots.