I’ll have more on this later. But my general impression is that the two briefs aren’t even close. The reply reads more like an exasperated prosecution team fed up and overwhelmed merely going through the motions than serious lawyers making serious arguments. They ignore most of the defense arguments, and fall back on emotion (police work long hours for low pay, and deserve protection) and seem almost to be hoping the judge ignores the defense brief in favor of the notion that new trials are, simply, almost never awarded.
The respone to the Wheeler precedent is particularly paltry. The prosecution makes no effort at all to distinguish the facts from Maye’s case to those in Wheeler. Instead, the prosecution creates a strawman version of what the defense deduced to be the holding in Wheeler, then retreats, again, to emotional arguments about all the hard, dangerous work law enforcement officers do.
Given the strength of the Covington-Kerr-Evans brief, I actually expected the DA’s office to shop the reply out, or at least bump it up to the Mississippi attorney general’s office. I’m a bit surprised that they attempted to tackle it on their own. Maybe their hubris will come back to bite them.
The hearing is in about a month. A new trial is still a long shot. But I don’t know how a reasonable person could read the two briefs and feel it isn’t warranted.