Thursday, December 08, 2005

Mississippi "Justice" strikes again. . .

I posted the other day about a Cory Maye in Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi who has been found guilty of the capital murder of a police officer. Publicola has provided Mississippi statutes on justifiable and excusable homicide.

Justifiable:

"(1) The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another shall be justifiable in the following cases:

(e) When committed by any person in resisting any attempt unlawfully to kill such person or to commit any felony upon him, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person shall be;

(f) When committed in the lawful defense of one's own person or any other human being, where there shall be reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury, and there shall be imminent danger of such design being accomplished;"

Excusable:

"The killing of any human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another shall be excusable:

(a) When committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means, with usual and ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent;

(b) When committed by accident and misfortune, in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation;"

The emphasis is mine but when you consider that it was late at night and the police were executing a warrant on Maye's duplex neighbor - not him - it becomes clear that there were clear grounds for Cory Maye's actions. His daughter was sleeping in the same room when a man in assault gear breaks in the door. Maye has no reason to believe that this is a cop - he was sleeping - why wouldn't he fear he and/or his daughter is threatened? They live in a "bad" neighborhood. I lived in a bad neighborhood for quite a while and would probably use deadly force if someone in black kicked my door in when I was asleep with my son with whom I share a room. I don't have a gun as handy as Mr. Maye but I have practiced getting it and removing the safety lock in past years. I do so no longer but have considered it at times. I do know that I would use any means possible to defend my child in such a circumstance as Cory Maye was placed in when the police mistakenly broke down his door.

Radley Balko has called the circuit court clerk for Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi and while he has yet to read the warrant had the clerk check - she did not see Cory Maye's name on the original warrant that the police were serving when they broke into his house. He had no record. He was a dad defending himself and his child. He has been sentenced to die.


6 comments:

Beth said...

This is definitely a miscarriage of justice.

DuWayne Brayton said...

This sort of thing is just a blatant example of why I believe the death penalty should be restricted to cases that can be 150% proven - i.e. none of them.

Beth said...

Amen!

Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker said...

Now, I'm no legal scholar re: Mississippi law (to be so, I suppose, would require several blows to the head,) but I do know that in most states, even my own beloved Florida (#2 in death row inmated!) one is only eligible for execution if it is proved (with a few exceptions) that the murder was pre-meditated.

The facts as you describe them (to be fair, I know nothing of this case) clearly do not fall within that definition.

DuWayne Brayton said...

Rex, as far as I know those are the facts - I link to most everything I know about it. . .I will post more as I learn about it.

jenny said...

thank you duwayne for bringing this to our attention. it makes my stomach turn.

and i agree with you 150% on the death penalty.