Last week, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision that Cory Maye, who was convicted of killing a police officer in a botched drug raid in 2001, should receive a new trial (you can read the court’s opinion here or scroll to the bottom of the page):
The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for Cory Maye, but reached a different conclusion in doing so than one ruled on by the Court of Appeals last year.
The Court of Appeals ordered a new trial because a judge denied Maye his constitutional right to be tried in south Mississippi’s Jefferson Davis County, where the crime occurred.
The Supreme Court on Thursday didn’t rule on the venue issue. Instead, Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. said the trial judge erred in not telling the jury that it could consider Maye’s claim of self-defense.
Maye’s attorneys had contended Maye was clearly defending himself - and protecting his sleeping daughter - when he fired shots at people invading his home and killed police officer Ron Jones.
Since the original trial, the work of Dr. Steven Hayne, a forensic pathologist whose testimony at Maye’s trail was essential to the death sentence handed down by the jury, has been called into question thanks to investigative reporting done by Radley Balko (Brett and I talked to Balko about this case and more in April).