A Small But Lovely Victory

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Cory Maye will not sleep on death row tonight. Nor, for that matter, any night for the foreseeable future.

At the conclusion of the hearing today, Judge Michael Eubanks ruled on two of the defense team’s battery of arguments. Both rulings from the bench tonight dealt with Rhonda Cooper’s competence. Judge Eubanks found that Ms. Cooper was competent for the trial, but incompetent for the sentencing.

I have my quarrels with that ruling, obviously. But in the short run, it means that Cory will at the very least get a new sentencing trial. And until and if that happens, he will no longer be on death row — and for the moment is no longer condemned to die.

Judge Eubanks did not issue a ruling on any of the other defense arguments — and there were lots of them. It may be a month or more before we hear what he has decided. That said, I am cautiously optimistic. Empahsis on the “cautiously.” I’ll get into the “why” on that — once again — a bit later. There is also some reason to think that today’s ruling may very well permanently spare Cory’s life. I’ll get into that later, too.

It’s been an amazing couple of days. I felt at times as if I were watching a movie.

I have about 60 pages of notes from the hearing. Once I get back to D.C. tomorrow, I plan to sit down at the computer, and over the weekend, walk you through the last 48 hours.

But now? I have something to celebrate. And my hotel is, literally, right on Bourbon Street. You should be able to figure out where I go from here. Be back when I’m sober.

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