How Cory Maye Was Freed

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

I have a long article up at Huffington Post telling the story behind last week’s plea bargain in the Cory Maye case.

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33 Responses to “How Cory Maye Was Freed”

  1. #1 |  Ahcuah | 

    You know, I wondered about how you’d fit with the Huffington Post.

    Now I have to say, whatever they are paying you, it isn’t as much as you deserve.

  2. #2 |  JS | 

    I hope Corey gets out of Mississippi. I don’t know where he would be safe though. Honestly if I were wrongly imprisoned the first thing I’d do is get the hell out of America.

  3. #3 |  goober1223 | 

    @ #2

    He mentioned a pen pal in Florida that may be a potential romantic interest. He also talked about getting his CDL, which could allow him to travel often and see his kids. I can’t imagine that he conviction would bar him from such a grisly job.

  4. #4 |  Difster | 

    No, that’s not a tear in my really. It’s just dust or something. ;)

    The only thing that could make this sweeter is a pardon.

  5. #5 |  Joe | 

    I wish Corey Maye the best. Thank you Radley for fighting the good fight.

  6. #6 |  JS | 

    goober, yea I was just thinking how safe would it be to be in Florida or anywhere else in America when the cops are out to get you? I’d hate to see it but I bet we see Corey arrested sometime here in the next year.

  7. #7 |  JS | 

    One of the commenters on your HUffPo article said that Larry Davis still gives the NYPD nightmares. Someone else replied with this:

    “HE DOES! 10 years after that happened, I was pulled over once. The cop had an attitude so I had one also, at point he goes “any relation to Larry Davis?” We share a name.

    I laughed and he goes “Oh that’s funny?”

    Apperently Larry Davis shot some cops who were breaking into his house the way they broke into Corey’s house. That’s why I worry about Corey’s safety now.

  8. #8 |  Matt felch | 

    Shame he’ll be labeled a felon for the rest of his life for what should have been a self defense case.

  9. #9 |  Goober | 

    I cannot imagine how any government that claims to be fair and “by and for the people” would possibly condone giving a sleepy man seconds to decide whether the men breaking into his house are police or not. I also fail to see how yelling “police” should mean anything – criminals typically hve the ability to shout “police” too, and they’ve been known to lie!

    So an innocent man who has just been woken up from a deep sleep, is terrified and untrained, has to make a decision:

    1.) Fight back and risk the fact that they might be cops, meaning you either get shot to death or spend the rest of your life in prison;

    2.) Submit and pray to God that they really are cops and that you didn’t just buy yourself a front-row ticket to the gang raping of your wife.

    How is it fair, just, or right that we are putting people in this situation every day? How can a government claim to be benevolent and then force men to have to decide quickly on which to risk: lifetime incarceration or your family’s safety?

    It just boggles my mind that there are so many people in support of these raids, and that so few people really see the problem with them.

  10. #10 |  Eye_Rater | 

    WTF? I had always taken Corey Maye to be an innocent man but then he read a statement in court that makes him sound guilty. “I apologize for the pain I have caused the Jones family.” “I hope we can forgive and all move forward and begin to heal.” If he admits that he caused the incident that brought the Jones family pain and he also admits that he committed a deed that needs to be forgiven, maybe he is not as innocent as I thought?

  11. #11 |  Windy | 

    Eye_Rater, he was probably forced to say that in order to be released, as part of the plea bargain.

  12. #12 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    maybe he is not as innocent as I thought

    It’s possible to feel badly about the pain you cause without feeling responsible for the situation that led to it. For example, I’m probably going to feel bad for calling you a moron, even though you so richly deserve it, and I would have had no cause to do so if you hadn’t first chosen to post such nonsense.

    Sorry about the pain I may have caused you, moron.

  13. #13 |  Radley Balko | 

    If he admits that he caused the incident that brought the Jones family pain and he also admits that he committed a deed that needs to be forgiven, maybe he is not as innocent as I thought?

    He did shoot Jones. And he now knows Jones wasn’t an armed intruder there to do him harm. It’s certainly possible to regret the fact that that you shot and killed a guy you respected, and still believe that given the circumstances, you were completely justified in doing so. In fact, I’d say it’s a pretty admirable reaction.

  14. #14 |  Andrew S. | 

    @Eye_Rater: If instead of stating remorse, he’d screamed “YES HE DESERVED TO DIE AND I HOPE HE BURNS IN HELL!” (obscure?), do you really think he’d be in this situation, or would he still be in prison?

  15. #15 |  Ben Vernia | 

    Windy, Cory was not forced to say anything as part of the plea bargain. His statement expressed regret at Jones’ loss of life, but he made clear that he never intended to hurt anyone.

    This is what Cory has been trying to tell people consistently since oh, about 5 seconds after the shooting when the police announced themselves.

  16. #16 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Eye_Rater,

    It isn’t that he is admitting guilt, but remorse. Maye’s actions might have been totally justified at the time, but after the fact when he learns more and sees who it really was he shot, he feels remorse…like a normal person. I think it reflects well on Maye’s character and in no way should be something held against him.

  17. #17 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I read some people who seem to think that the underlying problem is Racism. I agree that it exists, and personally doubt that it will ever be completely gone (unless we meet and conflict with a totally alien species, in which case it MIGHT vanish into a larger prejudice). But I think that the underlying problem is the drive to make more and more behavior illegal, and then to make stamping out that behavior a Crusade. Without the Drug War Mr. Maye might have been subject to racism in seeking employment, in getting promotions and pay, or in any number of other situations, but what put his life at risk, twice, was the War on Drugs, and the notion that under some circumstances it is acceptable for the police to kick in somebody’s door instead of knock.

  18. #18 |  JS | 

    Good post C.S.P.! Sadly. most of the comments over at HuffPo focused only on racism rather than the war on drugs.

  19. #19 |  Eye_Rater | 

    Just Plain Brian 12

    “Sorry about the pain I may have caused you, moron.”

    No problem, name-calling Asshole. I never let the sentiments of idiots cause me pain. This post highlights your stupidity and the ineptness of your post because nothing in my post required you to “cause” anything to anybody, even if you could have. You would only have reason to apologize if you had caused something adverse to someone, like if you had shot someone for reasons other than self-defense.

  20. #20 |  Eye_Rater | 

    Radley Balko 13

    “He did shoot Jones. And he now knows Jones wasn’t an armed intruder there to do him harm. It’s certainly possible to regret the fact that that you shot and killed a guy you respected, and still believe that given the circumstances, you were completely justified in doing so.”

    That is entirely true but it is not what I was reacting to. I was reacting to the part where he said “I apologize for the pain I have caused the Jones family” and “I hope we can forgive and all move forward and begin to heal.” If he feels he was really the cause of the Jones family’s pain and not some ill advised and botched actions of a police officer, maybe I should rethink my position on his innocence. If he thinks he did not understandably and justifiably grab a gun and wait to defend himself against violent intruders but instead did something that needs forgiveness, maybe I should rethink my position.

    Sorry if the brain dead name callers are unhappy with my failure to shut up and recite the standard line they have dictated.

  21. #21 |  Radley Balko | 

    Eye-Rater:

    You’re obviously entitled to your opinion, but I think you’re over-analyzing. Read the letter from Maye I posted here the other day.

    He can be sorry he shot the guy and caused pain for the guy’s family, and still believe he was justified in doing so. He can recognize he made a mistake, and still feel that it was justified and understandable under the circumstances, which were not of his making.

  22. #22 |  Eye_Rater | 

    Steve Verdon 16

    “he feels remorse…like a normal person”

    I can understand that and I would definitely feel remorse too. So I would say something like “I feel remorse about this and I regret that it ever happened,” but I would not say that I was the cause of it or ask to be forgiven for actions if they were right and justified.

  23. #23 |  Eye_Rater | 

    Radley Balko 21

    He did not say he was mistaken in what he thought was happening and the circumstances were not of his making and beyond his control. That statement would support his innocence. I will now go look for the letter you posted the other day.

  24. #24 |  zendingo | 

    chalk one up for the trolls

  25. #25 |  Radley Balko | 

    He did not say he was mistaken in what he thought was happening and the circumstances were not of his making and beyond his control.

    Again, you’re reading way too much into a short statement he made before sentencing.

    He stated repeatedly at his trial that he was frightened, and thought the cops were criminal intruders.

  26. #26 |  croaker | 

    @6 Not arrested. Shot and killed, and the cop who does it will be given a medal for valor.

    @17 +1

  27. #27 |  TomG | 

    Okay, so the article mentions who the actual target of the police raid was…and that no charges were ever brought against that guy, even though a “significant supply” of drugs were found in his apartment?

    Have the police ever explained that? Seems kind of strange to just let that go…

  28. #28 |  IllyAlley | 

    Zendingo,

    Why lessen the quality of the discussion by calling people names? What is a troll, anyway, someone who disagrees with you? I don’t know that I agree with Eye_Rater’s interpretations, but I am not going to make myself look lower than him by calling him a troll.

  29. #29 |  IllyAlley | 

    goober #6 and C.S.P. Schofield #17,

    Brilliant notes, both of you. I could not agree more.

  30. #30 |  IllyAlley | 

    Excuse me, I meant goober #9

  31. #31 |  Todd Mark | 

    Radley,

    Congratulations on your work in helping to free an innocent man. You did not do it single-handedly, but I believe that your boost on the informational side was instrumental. Many of us would call such an act the culmination of our careers.

    Your posts (at Reason) first informed me of Cory Maye’s plight and I remember sending myriad links to just about everyone I knew. I was disappointed by the response I received but Cory Maye’s case burned in my heart. I checked in on Reason today and learned he is free, sure, with strings attached, but free. I wept. I cried more as I learned each detail that I had missed in following this story.

    If there were some sorta get-together for Cory’s freedom, I’d drive from my Houston home to welcome him back and give his mamma a hug.

  32. #32 |  John C. Randolph | 

    t he was frightened, and thought the cops were criminal intruders.

    They were criminal intruders. Unfortunately for Cory, they were criminal intruders with the state’s blessing.

    -jcr

  33. #33 |  RSDavis | 

    Radley -

    I find myself with tears in my eyes this morning. This is amazing news.

    Years ago, as a young libertarian and new subscriber to Reason, I read your original article on Cory. It was a real eye-opener. Before that, I had never even thought about SWAT, its proper uses, and the potential for tragedy when SWAT is used so casually.

    I carried that issue around with me for several months, imploring friends and relatives to take the time to read it, evangelizing with the passion of a newly “saved” Christian.

    I posted the story on message boards, as well as relentlessly sharing all the other “isolated incidents” about which you blogged. I took up the flag and blogged about these things myself, too, ignoring the charges that I just “hated cops,” knowing that it was the policy – not the police (many of whom I count among my friends and family) – with which I had issues.

    You quickly became my favorite writer, exploring the problems with our justice system that spoke to me most urgently. I’ve been following your work religiously ever since.

    I had to post this comment because I want you to do something for me. When Cory takes his first breath of freedom, when he goes home to his family, his children, and his friends, I want you to step back and reflect about one indisputable fact:

    You did this.

    With eternal admiration and respect,

    – Rick

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