James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, December 12, 2005

Free Cory Maye

From the Free Market News Network:

[T]he man was minding his own business, asleep in his bed with his baby daughter in her crib, when several armed men stormed his door and entered his Prentiss, Miss. home, one night in December, 2001. In fear of his life and those of his family, Maye raised a gun and shot one of the intruders, seriously wounding him. After a bit more struggle, during which the other intruders identified themselves as police officers, Maye surrendered and was taken into custody, while his home was searched for illegal drugs.

As it turned out, the troops were looking for Jamie Smith, the man who lived on the other side of the duplex, suspected of drug dealing, and had stormed the wrong door. Nobody among the officers on the scene had even been made aware that the property was occupied by more than Smith himself, and they assumed the other door was only a side entrance to the house. Unfortunately, the officer Maye shot ended up dead; more unfortunately for Cory, who is black, the officer was not only a white man in Mississippi, but the son of the local police chief.
[snip]
The latest word on the situation is that Cory Maye is due to be executed by lethal injection, unless Governor Haley Barbour can be convinced to intervene on his behalf with a pardon, or failing that a reduction in his sentence.


Claire Wolfe writes,

I recently talked with criminologist Peter B. Kraska (the man who created the meme "militarizing Mayberry"). His research shows that there are about 40,000 paramilitary police raids in the U.S. each year and that some 80 percent of them are used in routine (albeit extraordinarily dramatic) service of drug-war search warrants. NOT arrest warrants, mind you. But search warrants. Police are smashing down doors in the middle of the night solely to gather evidence of possible drug activity. And all too often, they find either no drugs or some petty amount of drugs -- but leave a dead body or a shattered family behind. And they always, in these ill-planned, poorly justified, unnecessarily violent attacks on little guys, leave a growing gulf between police and the citizens they're supposed to "protect and serve."
[snip]
Police paramilitary raids against minor, non-violent law-breakers must stop. NOW. And completely. Every, single one of them is a tragedy -- a completely unnecessary tragedy -- waiting to happen. And the very fact that police agencies are choosing -- choosing -- to violently attack citizens who have offered no hint of violence is already a tragedy for the nation and for civilization.

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