Radley Balko, who has been covering this sad story for several years, reports over at the Huffington Post that Cory Maye will soon be released from prison:
After 10 years of incarceration, and seven years after a jury sentenced him to die, 30-year-old Cory Maye will soon be going home. Mississippi Circuit Court Judge Prentiss Harrell signed a plea agreement Friday morning in which Maye pled guilty to manslaughter for the 2001 death of Prentiss, Mississippi, police officer Ron Jones, Jr.
Per the agreement, Harrell then sentenced Maye to 10 years in prison, time he has now already served. Maye will be taken to Rankin County, Mississippi, for processing and some procedural work. He is expected to be released within days.
I’ve mentioned Maye a few times here since his story became nationally known, thanks to Balko’s work. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this, Cory Maye was at home with daughter on the evening of December 26, 2001 when police officers entered his side of the duplex (whether they announced themselves is still unclear). The search warrant named a known drug dealer that shared the other half of the duplex. The warrant didn’t specifically list Maye or his girlfriend, rather “persons unknown.”
Upon hearing noises, Maye grabbed his gun and went into his daughter’s room. When Officer Ron Jones entered the room, Maye fired three shots. Maye claims that he didn’t hear officers announce themselves and didn’t realize he had fired at police until he heard them shouting after he had discharged his weapon.
You can learn more about the events in this video:
Unions. Once upon a time, they helped shape the American industrial landscape by increasing pay to reasonable levels and increasing safe working conditions. They can do a lot of good, but these days they don’t. In this case, they managed to run 1,000 jobs off. The people of Mississippi thank the Machinist Union for their help.
The Olin Corporation made two contract offers to the union. They turned them both down, with at least the second one having been voted on with the knowledge that Olin was at least considering a move. Many union members assumed it was a bluff. Apparently, they were wrong.
Joseph Rupp, the chairman, president and CEO of Clayton-based Olin, pointed the finger at the workers’ failure to accept a contract that guaranteed seven years of job security in exchange for reductions in vacation time, an elimination of a matching company contribution to retirement plans and other incentives.
“While I am disappointed that employees … chose to reject a proposal that would have allowed us to remain competitive in East Alton, we look forward to expanding our existing operations in Mississippi,” Rupp said in a prepared statement.
Seven years of job security? Talk about a sweet deal. Apparently though, they didn’t like the idea of the loss of monetary incentives instead. That was their right. Unfortunately, this is the result. POOF! No more job.
Of course, the union is arguing that Olin is wrong from the start:
The Machinists claim Olin’s bid to renegotiate their contract violated the terms of the three-year agreement it reached with the union in 2008.
We’re kicking the United Liberty Podcast off again this week with Jason and Brett speaking to Radley Balko, senior editor at Reason magazine and blogger at The Agitator (a favorite of ours here at UL).
The discussion centers around the alarming trend in police militarization and the murders Kathryn Johnston and Johnathan Ayers. We also discussed Cory Maye’s case (video here) in Mississippi and Radley’s work in exposing the questionable methods of Dr. Steven Hayne, a forensic pathologist whose tesitmony at Maye’s trail was essential the death sentence handed down by the jury.
Maye has since been granted a new trail by Mississippi Court of Appeals.
There is no mincing words about it, last night was a bad night for Mitt Romney and an even worse one for Newt Gingrich, who really needed to win the two Southern states headed to the polls to show that he is still a viable alternative to the former Massachusetts Governor.
On the other hand, Rick Santorum was able to sneak out a win in Mississippi, where it was indeed a close race between himself, Gingrich, and Romney. He also did well in Alabama, finishing six points ahead of Gingrich and Romney.
The good news for Romney is that he won the Hawaii caucus, but that was expected. Ron Paul, who didn’t compete in Alabama and Mississippi, finished a distant third. Romney also added to his total delegate, despite losing in the South.
- Santorum: 35% (16)
- Gingrich: 29% (12)
- Romney: 29% (10)
- Paul: 5% (0)
- Santorum: 33% (13)
- Gingrich: 31% (12)
- Romney: 30% (12)
- Paul: 4% (0)
Coming off of a good Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney hopes to further entrench himself at the frontrunner for the Republican nomination tonight as Alabama and Mississippi voters head to the polls to cast their ballots. But various surveys in these two Southern states show that it’ll be a close race, one that has Romney running right along Rick Santorum in Newt Gingrich.
Santorum had a good weekend, picking up an overwhelming win in Kansas, while Romney won Wyoming and some United States territories. For Gingrich, however, tonight’s primaries are a “must win” if he hopes to avoid more calls to drop out of the race. And the latest polls out of Alabama and Mississippi certainly do show the former Speaker hanging with the rest of the field.
Here are the final numbers out of the two states, provided by Public Policy Polling. As noted above, it’s going to go down to the wire in Alabama:
- Mitt Romney: 31%
- Newt Gingrich: 30%
- Rick Santotrum: 29%
- Ron Paul: 8%
And Gingrich holds a small lead in Mississippi, though within the margin of error, over Romney with Santorum six back:
Diane Avera, a 45-year-old grandmother from Meridian, Mississippi, whose record includes only a speeding ticket is facing a year in jail. Her crime? She bought a box of Sudafed in neighboring Alabama. From The Clarion-Ledger:
She is seeking a new trial in Demopolis, Ala., after being convicted of second degree intent to manufacture methamphetamine. If she loses, she plans to appeal to the Alabama Court of Appeals.
Crackdowns taking place across the nation on pseudoephedrine and other products used to make methamphetamine have caused her to become a “prisoner of the drug war going on inside America,” said her husband, Keith. “When common household medications and disinfectants are now illegal to possess, I believe we have gone overboard with the drug laws.”
Mind you, there appears to be no solid evidence that Avera was trying to make methamphetamine other than her purchase of Sudafed and her own seemingly coerced confession. And while Mississippi officials may be declaring this travesty “silliness” and claiming they don’t want to be responsible for “targeting grandma,” this is as much their fault as it is Alabama’s. Mississippi requires that Sudafed and other products containing pseudoephedrine be sold by prescription only, which is why Avera was buying her medication in Alabama in the first place. The makers of pseudoephedrine products have been leading a campaign to pressure state legislators to vote against RX Only laws.
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).
Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) has become the first Democrat to sign a petition to repeal ObamaCare, legislation he voted against back in March:
The Blue Dog Democrat, who frequently bucks his party’s leadership, signed the petition Wednesday, his office said.
A spokesman said they had no comment on why he signed it.
Taylor is the 172nd person to sign on the act to repeal the bill – following conservative Republican Rep. Steve King (Iowa), who offered the act on June 16. The entire House Republican leadership has also signed onto the petition. Taylor is the second person to join the effort to repeal the bill since the August recess, following Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach.
Taylor underscores how unpopular the legislation is in some conservative districts held by Democrats — although he voted against the bill. Taylor, though, has bucked trends for years, holding onto the Gulf Coast seat since 1989.
The petition is being pushed by Heritage Action for America, which is run by the Heritage Foundation, and they are making sure they get the word out about Taylor signing the petition.
Taylor has always had an independent streak. Back in 1998, he was one of a few Democrats that broke his party and voted for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton (he voted for all four of the articles of impeachment, the only Democrat to do so). Unfortunately, one of his biggest flaws are his anti-trade views.
Recently, Trent Lott, a former Senator from Mississippi turned lobbyist, told the Washington Post:
Former Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), now a D.C. lobbyist, warned that a robust bloc of rabble-rousers spells further Senate dysfunction. “We don’t need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples,” Lott said in an interview. “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.”
“We” means the K Street wing of the Republican Party.
There are Republican candidates, officials and activists who don’t like the way Washington works and who seriously want to cut government back to sustainable and constitutional levels. And then there are the more “reasonable” grown-ups — Republicans, in and out of office, who like talking about this sort of thing (and may kind of believe it) but who understand Washington as a game, or even a racket: Raise a fuss, quote Ronald Reagan, attack the other side, exalt capitalism — then get rich off the taxpayer.
As we noted yesterday, the commission looking into the oil spill is skeptical of the drilling moratorium that the Obama Administration insists on imposing. Residents of the area, from Louisiana to Florida, understand that the oil industry means a lot to the region and they aren’t thrilled about the idea either:
An ABC News-Washington Post poll found that three-quarters of residents in the most affected counties along the Gulf said the spill has hurt their area’s economy, including 55 percent who said it has had a strongly negative impact. One in four reported personal financial damage.
And there were other tolls: One in three personally has been depressed in the past few days because of the spill. Forty percent were angry about it; many others, upset if not angry.
Nonetheless, given their region’s reliance on the oil industry , most residents of the affected counties weren’t turning their backs on offshore drilling. By 60-38 percent, they opposed the Obama administration’s six-month moratorium on drilling (it got far more support nationally); and more, three-quarters, said drilling should resume at its existing level, or be expanded, in the future.
You can view the crosstabs here.
And in other news, how do Democrats justify pushing deepwater drilling companies to renegotiate their leases so they have to pay royalties to the feds?: