The Cory Maye Case

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Radley Balko follows up on his reporting Cory Maye, the 30 year-old man who was sent to death-row as an alleged cop-killer:


The Mississippi Supreme Court granted Cory Maye a new trial today, though on different grounds than the Mississippi Court of Appeals, which granted the trial based on a change of venue issue. The state's supreme court instead ruled that Maye's trial judge should have let the jury consider a "defense of others" defense, and that the judge's refusal to include that in the jury instructions amounted to reversible error. The court also said that Maye's new trial can take place in Jefferson Davis County, which is what Maye wanted, and is where the incident took place.

Maye shot the police officer after they kicked in his door, ostensibly searching for large quantities of marijuana. They found a roach of marijuana cigarette. Read Balko's reporting on the case here. Maye's sentence was later commuted to life.

I don't want to be condescending, or speak out of place, but I'll just say that I appreciate Reason's reporting on this issue. We don't agree on, like, anything else. But this kind of tough-mindness instills a level of intellectual respect. Again, not these guys need my "intellectual respect" or that they should care one wit. But when you know people who've had lethal encounters with the police, this sort of thing is heartening.

Anyway, watch the short film below.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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