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Thread: Man railroaded onto death row?

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    Default Man railroaded onto death row?

    On Dec. 26, 2001, police in the small town of Prentiss, Miss., executed a marijuana search warrant on a small duplex.

    On one side of the duplex lived Jamie Wilson, described in the search warrant and police affidavit as a "known drug dealer." When police pounded on her door, Wilson answered and surrendered. That, of course, is what you'd expect a small-time marijuana dealer to do.

    On the other side of the duplex, 20-year-old Cory Maye had fallen asleep in an easy chair. His 18-month-old daughter lay asleep in the next room. Maye had only recently moved out of his parents' home. He had moved in with his girlfriend, because, he says, he wanted to be a father to his daughter. Maye was uncomfortable in his new home, and had expressed concerns to his mother about the seedy neighborhood surrounding it. Still, he promised to stick it out until after the holidays.

    Late that night, Maye said he awoke to a furious pounding on his front door. According to his court testimony, he became frightened for his safety, and for the safety of his daughter. He ran back to the bedroom, where his daughter was asleep on the bed. He retrieved the gun he had for home protection, loaded it, chambered a round, and lay down on the floor next to her, hoping the noises and/or intruders outside would subside.

    (Story continues below)

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    They didn't. Soon enough, Maye says, the door to Maye's bedroom flew open, and a figure entered from the outside. Scared, Maye fired his gun three times.

    The figure was police officer Ron Jones, and one of Maye's bullets struck Jones in the abdomen, killing him. Worse for Maye, Jones also happened to be the son of the town's police chief.

    The above is Cory Maye's version of events. As you might guess, the police offered a different account of the raid. They say they repeatedly announced they were police, and asked Maye to open up. They say an anonymous informant had told the investigating officer that there was a "large stash" of marijuana in the apartment Cory Maye shared with his girlfriend. And they say Cory Maye knew that Ron Jones was a police officer when he shot him.

    A Mississippi jury believed the police. Last year, Cory Maye was found guilty of capital murder, or the intentional killing of a police officer. The same afternoon, he was sentenced to death. And today he sits on Mississippi's death row.

    That Cory Maye is even in prison is an appalling failure of Mississippi's criminal justice system. Police had no reason to be in his home that night, much less to break down his door. His case is just the latest in a series of tragic consequences resulting from the overuse of paramilitary tactics when police serve drug warrants.

    But it's the details of Cory Maye's case that make it particularly compelling:

    Cory Maye had no prior criminal record. He had no history of violence. Police found one gram of ashen marijuana in Maye's apartment (that's about a sixth of a teabag's worth). There was no "large stash," and Cory Maye was no drug dealer. In fact, Maye's name appeared nowhere on the search warrant, only his address and the phrase "persons unknown."

    Then there's the matter of the informant. We'll never know who that informant was, nor will we ever know what kind of corroborating investigation was done before securing the warrant. That's because the entire investigation leading up to the raid was conducted by the same Officer Ron Jones who was killed in the raid.

    According to District Attorney Buddy McDonald, Jones kept no notes or documentation of his investigation of the Wilson-Maye duplex; and any investigation he may have done, in the words of McDonald, "died with Officer Jones."

    Cory Maye may well have been a recreational pot smoker. But then, possession of a misdemeanor amount of pot doesn't justify an armed home invasion. Cory Maye may also have fired his gun too quickly. But what would you have done? You have no criminal record. You aren't a dangerous person. You have no reason to think police would break into your home in the middle of the night. You awake to find that your home is under attack. The door flies open. Do you wait to see who it is? Or do you defend your family?

    Don't think it can't happen. There are dozens of examples of late night "no-knock" drug raids executed on the wrong home, or on people guilty of, at worst, misdemeanor offenses. Any gun owner willing to defend his family from intruders could well be in the same position Cory Maye was in four years ago.

    At the very worst, Maye is guilty of recklessness. It's horrifying to think he could be executed for an error in judgment, an error compounded by volatile circumstances, a frightening assault, and high-stakes drama, none of which were of his making.

    But it gets worse. For the last 10 years, Bob Evans has been public defender for the town of Prentiss. Late last year, Evans says he was warned by town officials not to represent Cory Maye in his appeal. Evans ignored the threats, and gave Maye representation. In January of this year, Prentiss made good on its promise, and fired Evans.

    According to Evans, Prentiss Mayor Charlie Dumas told him point blank that he was terminated for representing Cory Maye. In a phone interview, Mayor Dumas confirmed having a conversation with Evans, but declined to go into specifics. Calls to the town's aldermen weren't returned, or were answered with "no comment."

    If Evans version of events are true, the firing of Evans stinks. It's the kind of thing public officials do when they have something to hide. And it only adds to the already obvious notion that the town of Prentiss doesn't much care about giving Cory Maye a fair shake at justice.

    Cory Maye should unite both liberal death penalty foes and conservative gun rights advocates. If Tookie Wilson's execution bothered you, Maye's should terrify you. And if you're troubled by Waco, you should be outraged by Prentiss.

    I think Maye deserves an apology. He certainly doesn't deserve death.

    foxnews.com
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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    Elite Member Glasgow53's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    Mississippi justice at its best.
    Keep passing the open windows.

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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    For anyone who is interested, there is a fund set up for his defence. Details are here. http://www.mayeisinnocent.com/

    There is also more information about the firing of the public defender, Evans, here. http://www.theagitator.com/archives/026131.php

    There are more and more of these over the top, paramilitary-style raids for relatively minor offences. This is crazy.

    "The howling backwoods that is IMDB is where film criticism goes to die (and then have its corpse gang-raped, called a racist, and accused of supporting Al-Qaeda)" ----Sean O'Neal, The Onion AV Club

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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    I agree there are more and more. Remember the old lady who had her door bashed down, thrown to the ground and held that way for hours? She died of a heart attack and the police said they were 'just acting on a reliable tip.' The police are starting to look more like an army--us against them--which is really scary considering we are thisclose to living in a police state anyway.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Gold Member deckchick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    It always saddens me to read stuff like this. Maybe I am niave, but shit like that doesn't happen here in Canada. Maybe it's because we don't pull out our gun at the first inkling of trouble, we tend to call 911 instead.

    I am in no way blaming Mr. Maye, but the whole american mentality is to not only own a loaded handgun, but to have it within easy reach and to actually use them anytime they feel threatened. I forget the stats, but I am sure I read somewhere that the USA has as many gun related incidents in a day as Canada has all year.
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    A*O
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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    It wouldn't happen here either because we are not allowed to have guns - easy. Of course the crims have them but tend to shoot each other which is fine with me. Also, the cops take a fairly relaxed attitude to the possession of small amounts of dope, even though it's technically illegal, and certainly don't bust down people's doors without making it perfectly clear who they are beforehand.
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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    Sorry, Deckchick, but I'm going to have to slap you with the cold hand of reality. It does happen here.


    I heard my dog barking one lovely afternoon day in late September 2001, so I stepped out onto my deck to see what was going on. I ought to mention that I live in a secluded, densely treed area. Our house isn't visible from the road and our nearest neighbours are about half a kilometre away. I could hear a rustling in the trees and at first I assumed that there was some sort of animal moving about and then a man with a shaved head and wearing mirrored sunglasses, a black t-shirt, black military style pants(lots of pockets) and holding some sort of gun stepped onto my lawn. Looked like some horrible cliche, in retrospect. It's really true that you never know how you will react to something unless you are faced with it. I was more terrified than I have ever been in my life. I truly could not move. Every urge was for flight. I wanted to run or scream and couldn't. I managed to snap out of it just long enough to grab my dog. The guy just stood there staring for what seemed like a very long time and then said that there was marijuana growing at the back of the property by the creek and that he had followed a "path" up to our house. I had been calling the police for weeks about the neighbour trespassing on our property and suddenly it made sense. I told him about the calls. There were, at that time, NO paths on our property. If there were, he wouldn't have been making all of that crashing. He just kept staring and after a while, said that we had a clearing near the house that was visible from the air. I told him it was the vegetable garden. He then walked across the lawn and around the house and I never saw him again. I shook uncontrollably and vomited for about an hour afterwards. AT NO POINT DID HE EVER IDENTIFY HIMSELF AS A POLICE OFFICER. It was purely for intimidation and it worked.

    This list is from an article from 1998 and is a bit out of date and incompletesorry about the colour, I don't know how to fix that. Highlighting it helps)

    • In April, 1997, OPP tactical officer Sgt. Kenneth Deane was found guilty of criminal negligence causing death. Deane had shot and killed an unarmed native, Dudley George, during a 1995 protest at Ipperwash Provincial Park. Deane, who fired seven shots, claimed George had a gun. But the judge determined that wasn’t the case, and that officers had lied about the events.

    • On February 19, 1996, an OPP tactical team used a bartering ram to smash down the front door of a house near Hamilton. They were looking for marijuana growers and guns. They found fifty-seven-year-old John Goddard his wife, Jean, forced them at gunpoint to lie on the floor, and slapped them in handcuffs as the house was searched. Nothing was found. It turned out that an informant had given police the wrong information.

    • On February 17, 1996, an OPP tactical team launched a predawn raid on a house near Orangeville. Officers, looking for a murder suspect, smashed in the front and back doors and hauled a couple out of bed at gunpoint. The homeowner’s seventy-year-old father was also dragged from his bed and handcuffed. The couple had absolutely no connection to the real suspect, who was captured later that day in Miami.

    • A Surrey, B.C., couple were asleep in their bed when heavily armed masked men burst into their house in January; 1996. The couple thought they were the victims of a home invasion but the intruders were members of an RCMP tactical team. Looking for cocaine and guns, they also kicked in the door to a bedroom where the woman’s ninety-three-year-old mother was sleeping. The suspected drug dealers the police thought lived there had moved out six months earlier.

    • During the 1995 standoff between police and native protesters at Gustafsen Lake, B.C., an RCMP tactical-team sniper was given permission to shoot to kill [assassinate] an Indian demonstrator. Although the man was carrying a gun, he was in an agreed-upon safe area. He was simply getting some water from a nearby lake. The sniper fired three bullets. Fortunately, he missed.

    • In September, 1995, a SWAT team without a warrant kicked down the door of a Montreal apartment. Searching for drugs, police instead found a terrified woman and her baby.

    • Two members of a Quebec Provincial Police tactical unit were charged with uttering threats, forcible confinement, torture, and assault in February; 1992, after police armed with machine-guns burst into the house of a man and his son.

    • Also in February, 1992, members of Vancouver’s tactical ream were caught on videotape beating a man they had dragged out of an apartment house. The unit had gone to the wrong address during a drug raid. The man they hauled from the dwelling was a newly arrived Chinese immigrant who couldn’t speak English.
    • After laying siege to a motel during the search for a murder suspect in December, 1991, Calgary’s SWAT ream took into custody a Newfoundland man and his friends. The man was reportedly grabbed by the hair, thrown on the ground, and kicked several times. A newspaper photo showed two terrified children, who belonged to one of his friends, being grabbed by SWAT members armed with sub-machine-guns. One of the children, thinking the men were kidnappers, grabbed onto a handrail and had to be pried off Again, it was a case of mistaken identity; The man was a house painter who had just arrived in Calgary to look for work.

    • On July 3,1991, a Montreal SWAT officer shot a twenty-four-year-old man, Marcellus Francois, through the head with an M-16 assault rifle, killing him. The police had mistaken him for a suspect in an attempted murder.

    • On October 7, 1984, a member of the London OPP tactical team accidentally killed a fellow officer during a night-time confrontation with a gunman.
    http://www.bcrevolution.ca/government_thugs.htm (site isn't Firefox friendly)



    Perfecting the police State: Lasqueti residents terrorised by RCMP.
    Aug 26 2004


    LASQUETI ISLAND, B.C. - Residents of Lasqueti Island complain they've
    been harassed and intimidated by recent military-style RCMP drug raids.

    Police officers using Canadian Forces helicopters swooped down on the
    island last weekend in their search for marijuana grow-ops.

    More than 100 people packed a town hall meeting Wednesday night to denounce the police tactics - saying they had more to do with harassment
    than law enforcement.

    They don't deny there are people growing marijuana on Lasqueti, but Chris Burchill says the RCMP tactics were like something out of a war zone.

    "A group of your officers rappelled down from a helicopter, came jogging up to my house wielding their machetes, with their uniforms and
    their loaded guns, with the machine roaring overhead, rattling the windows."


    The residents say the raids upset children, frightened disabled people and terrorized livestock. They also accuse the Mounties of entering homes without search warrants.

    Sgt. Bill Van Otterloo - one of three RCMP officers at the meeting - promised to look into the complaints.
    The residents are also furious that the RCMP put out a news release calling Lasqueti a "marijuana mecca" and suggesting organized crime might be
    involved.

    Residents demanded an apology from the RCMP. Van Otterloo said he was
    sorry if he had unintentionally slandered the people of Lasqueti Island. "

    Copyright © CBC 2004


    Last edited by twitchy; February 24th, 2006 at 10:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    aghhh i can't read it, oo orange and pale!

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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    Sorry, can it be fixed? I dread the thought of having to type in the whole damn thing.

    Edited to add: I figured out how to do that! I'm not as useless as I thought!

    "The howling backwoods that is IMDB is where film criticism goes to die (and then have its corpse gang-raped, called a racist, and accused of supporting Al-Qaeda)" ----Sean O'Neal, The Onion AV Club

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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    just remove the color tags

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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    A SWAT team burst into a Surrey, B.C. home in the middle of a children's birthday party, shot the family dog in front of about 15 kids, tore the house apart, and arrested all the adults. The kids went to foster care, and their guests were just left at the house to fend for themselves. Later on it turned out it was all a mistake. The family asked for an apology, never got one, then sued the police force. They were harrassed to the point that they had to move, and the worst part is, the real drug dealer actually came forward (via a letter from far away) and offered to pay their moving expenses. No word on whether they accepted.

    The police still insist they did nothing wrong. The bizarre thing is they watched the house for two days and yet testified that they "didn't know" there was a birthday party going on!!!!!

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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    It's pretty weird when the drug dealer ends up being the good guy in all of this. The police are really out of control in some situations and are acting like a paramilitary organization. Hey, boys and girls in blue, you work for us and are there to help us. WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY.

    Perhaps better screening at the police academy might help?
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    Gold Member deckchick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy
    Sorry, Deckchick, but I'm going to have to slap you with the cold hand of reality. It does happen here.
    I consider myself slapped.

    But I was actually commenting more on the man shooting the cop that burst into his house. I am not so naive that I think the cops don't make mistakes, maybe even sometimes on purpose, but my point was that us Canadians tend to call the cops or run like hell... not pull out a gun and kill someone.
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    Default Re: Man railroaded onto death row?

    From what I've seen in small American towns when the local police decide you're guilty of something these things happen and they'll do whatever it takes to make sure you go to jail forever for it, even if they ignore the truth or set you up. Some justice huh.

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