Thursday, December 15, 2005

Cory Maye update

Radley Balko provides a comprehensive post about the Cory Maye case here. I first posted on the Maye case here, linking to Balko.

I've reviewed Balko's latest post and nothing there changes my opinion that Maye acted in self-defense. As I ask in my earlier post, were Maye's actions reasonable under the circumstances? It seems to me they were.

Here's something from Balko's update that I found interesting:

Smith was arrested without incident. Significant quantities of marijuana were found in his home. Both Maye's current and former attorneys say Smith was never charged for drug possession or distribution. District Attorney McDonald says he doesn't remember Smith being charged or convicted. Maye was never charged with a drug crime. So the only criminal charge of any kind to come out of this raid was the murder charge against Maye. (emphasis added)
Note that Smith was the neighbor in the adjoining duplex apartment.

You can see from the above that is was the police action, under the WOD mandate, that got Officer Jones killed and Maye convicted as his murderer. It's not the drugs that are the problem here, it is the misguided war on drugs that led to all this. Absent the WOD, Officer Jones is still alive, and Maye is still at home taking care of his family.

I freely admit that my opposition to the WOD colors my opinion of this case. You see, I think the WOD is the biggest injustice being perpetrated on people in this country to day. This case is more proof of that.

Even if Maye himself was a marijuana smoker, it was the war on drugs that caused him to grab a gun one evening to defend himself and his daughter against what he thought was a criminal home invasion. The injustice of siccing law enforcement on people like Maye and those that supply their habits has led to more injustice. In this case, the tragic death of a young police officer and the imprisonment of Maye, sitting on death row.

I have to ask the questions again. Is stopping people from doing drugs worth Officer Jones' life? Is it worth Cory Maye's life? Is using "illegal drugs" any different than getting smashed on beer, wine, or whiskey? If not, why are we treating "illegal drug" users differently from alcohol users? Isn't it obvious that when the law treats morally equal behaviors differently, injustice, by definition, is created?

I'll have more WOD posts in the future.


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