Life After Death

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Corey Maye is out:


After 10 years of incarceration, and seven years after a jury sentenced him to die, 30-year-old Cory Maye will soon be going home. Mississippi Circuit Court Judge Prentiss Harrell signed a plea agreement Friday morning in which Maye pled guilty to manslaughter for the 2001 death of Prentiss, Mississippi, police officer Ron Jones, Jr. Per the agreement, Harrell then sentenced Maye to 10 years in prison, time he has now already served. Maye will be taken to Rankin County, Mississippi, for processing and some procedural work. 

He is expected to be released within days. Maye's story, a haunting tale about race, the rural south, the excesses of the drug war, the inequities of the criminal justice system and a father's instincts to protect his daughter, caught fire across the Internet and the then-emerging blogging world when I first posted the details on my own blog in late 2005.

Balko, who played an essential role in winning Maye's release, has more background in the piece. There's also this excellent documentary, below, which Reason produced. It should always be remembered that Corey Maye was sentenced to death. It should always be remembered that this happened on account of the drug war.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/07/life-after-death/241431/