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December 14, 2005

Saving Maye

Mark Kleiman makes a great point here:

The United Blogosphere has spoken: Cory Maye must not die. (Once Atrios agrees with Instapundit, it's fair to say that the sense of the meeting has been taken.)

This is as pure a test of Blogger Power as we're likely to see. As far as I can tell, there's no active dissent on the question in Blogistan. Radley Balko isn't just jumping up and down on the question, he's doing real investigative reporting and getting results. (E.g., the search warrant in the case doesn't mention Cory Maye by name, and the affidavit submitted to obtain the search warrant is about as far short of "probable cause" as it could possibly be: it merely recites that the officer thinks someone might have drugs in that apartment.)

But so far, there is absolutely no mention of the case in any actual newspaper or other non-blog outlet indexed by Google, and as far as I can tell no statement on the case by any actual politician or any organization more powerful than the Innocence Project. If the save-Cory campaign remains confined to cyberspace, then we can confidently predict that its impact on Planet Earth will be negligible.

As he goes on to say, some enterprising politician could score unbelievable points with not only the netroots, but I'd assume the Black community, by turning Maye into a cause celebre. Online, politically plugged in bloggers like Kos and Duncan and Jerome should be bringing it to the attention of their electoral contacts -- time to shake those branches. This is a rare moment where, for a young politician, doing good and doing right intersect. It's a chance to save a life and make a name. It's almost unimaginable to me that no one will take the opportunity. Likely candidates would look to be Feingold, Edwards, and Warner, but I'm open to new faces.

So c'mon folks: get on it.

December 14, 2005 | Permalink


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Not Clinton? Or is that too squishy a position for her to dare take?

Posted by: Allen K. | Dec 14, 2005 4:23:26 AM

I certainly agree that Maye should not be executed and ought to be freed. What I don't quite get though is exactly what, at this point, this activism is to accomplish.

His case is being appealled and hopefully justice will be done this time. One would hope though that activism would not influence the outcome of the case, or any cases.

From a political angle, what would we be calling for to happen? Other than a pardon now (which seems to me to be premature) anything we would ask to happen is in fact happening.

Posted by: Dave Justus | Dec 14, 2005 9:55:51 AM

First of all, this case needs to be publicized because it is a terrible indictment of how our legal system has gone wrong, and how stupid those no-knock raids are.

Secondly, we're not going to wait until Cory Maye is scheduled for execution before raising the profile on him. Of course, the best thing for him would be for the case to get reversed on appeal. Towards that end, there is some talk on getting a legal defense fund together.

Posted by: battlepanda | Dec 14, 2005 10:42:37 AM

Dave's right. If he gets an appeal and/or new trial and is freed through the normal course of the courts, there is no need for undue political pressure. I would venture that some "out-of-state politician tryin' to make a name for himself" won't actually be much of a help for Maye among jurors.

In addition, any politician (or mainstream media) needs to wade into this a little more slowly than you, me, Radley Balko or anyone else in the blogosphere. Look at how much has come out just in a few days. If you get out too far in front on this and the facts turn out to be diifferent (so far, no one has even seen a transcript of the trial) than currently constituted, it is political/career suicide.

I would keep this case on the front-burner, raise a defense fund for Maye's appeal, and make sure he got solid representation. If the facts are anything close to what has been documented, he should walk out of prison a free man.

If that fails for any reason, by all means go to the mattresses. Swarm that state, make Haley Barnbour's life a living hell, and make Maye the cornerstone for a movement against the death penalty.

Posted by: Mr Furious | Dec 14, 2005 10:47:47 AM

I think Mr Furious is neglecting the value of "working the refs." The legal system failed not just because of failures of the jury but because public officials, such as the local district attorney, thought he could get away with the prosecution. Public pressure now can help to ensure that district attorneys do attempt to push through such miscarriages of justice in the future.

Posted by: Constantine | Dec 14, 2005 1:53:59 PM

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