Radley Balko is continuing to dig up more information on the case of Cory Maye case, the man who shot someone who broke down his door and rushed his daughters bedroom — and is now facing the death penalty because that someone turned out to be a policeman serving a “no-knock” warrant on the drug dealer next door.
He has posted PDF files of the trial transcripts.
One of the main issues in the case — in fact, perhaps the only issue — is if Mr. Maye knew, or even could have known, that the guy breaking down his door was a police officer. The other police testified that they were in uniform and annonced “Police!” as (before?) they broke down the door; Maye, who was asleep at the time, said he didn’t hear anything until they burst into the room in which he and his daughter were sleeping. Now, Radley Balko found the following interesting fact, which really seems to back up Maye’s version of the event:
As it turns out, only one officer from the narcotics task force went along on the raid. Jones seems to have assembled an ad-hoc team of eight police officers to conduct the raid, including himself; a volunteer police officer from Bassfield named Phillip Allday; Darryl Graves, the task force officer; another Prentiss police department officer; and officers from both the Jefferson Davis County Sheriff’s department and the Bassfield department.
I think this reflects even more poorly on the way the raid was handled. Only one of the eight officers — the officer from the task force — had any narcotics training at all. He was on the four-man team who executed the warrant for the other apartment, that of Jamie Smith. Which means none of the officers who raided Maye’s home had training in serving a high-risk narcotics warrant.
Here’s another troubling tidbit — it was the ununiformed volunteer cop who kicked down Maye’s door. Also, given his volunteer status, Allday wasn’t authorized to announce “police” prior to entering the apartment. [Italics his, boldface mine. --DR]
So, the one officer who normally is required to announce “Police” did not have they authority to do so — and was not in uniform. This means that either (1) the police are not following their own rules, or (2) they are lying, or (3) both.
Which makes the following even more disturbing:
The jury retired to deliberate at 10:38am on January 23 . By 11:49am, they had returned with a guilty verdict. At 2:20pm, the death penalty phase of the trial began. The jury retired for death penalty deliberations at 4:35pm. By 6pm they had returned with a death sentence. By 6:27pm, Maye was senteneced to death by the judge. So it took the jury just an hour and ten minutes to convict him, and just an hour and twenty-five minutes to sentence him to death. All in the same afternoon. [Emphasis mine -DR]
Sorry, but I don’t see how, in such a short amount of time, anyone can truly consider whether a person truly should be put to death for a crime — especially for an act which is arguably justifiable to the point that it might not even be a crime. Something is fishy here. Very, very fishy.
Keep in mind that I support the death penalty — but only for people who are actually murderers!