Friday, October 27, 2006

A Life-Support System

Much of the attention blogs have received has been for exposing scandals that result in getting someone fired or publicly embarrassed. So it's nice to be able to report on the blogosphere doing something positive.

This is somewhat old news that I've meant to blog about for awhile, but it appears that blogger Radley Balko (formerly of the Cato Institute, now with Reason Magazine) has essentially saved Cory Maye's life. The story, for those that don't know it: Maye was on death row in Mississippi for killing a police officer who was part of a botched home raid (the team mistakenly barged into Maye's home in the middle of the night with guns drawn, and Maye, thinking he was under attack, fired back in protection of himself and his infant daughter), and Balko has tirelessly worked to bring exposure to the case which have served to get Cory Maye a new trial. Balko's summary at the time went like this:

Cops mistakenly break down the door of a sleeping man, late at night, as part of drug raid. Turns out, the man wasn't named in the warrant, and wasn't a suspect. The man, frightened for himself and his 18-month old daughter, fires at an intruder who jumps into his bedroom after the door's been kicked in. Turns out that the man, who is black, has killed the white son of the town's police chief. He's later convicted and sentenced to death by a white jury. The man has no criminal record, and police rather tellingly changed their story about drugs (rather, traces of drugs) in his possession at the time of the raid.

The story only became more convoluted, with apparent discontinuities everywhere in the cop's story. And now, Cory Maye, rather than being killed, is going to live, in part because of Balko's tireless efforts. And at least get a fair trial.

In the words of Gene Healy, via Jim Henley: It sure beats getting Dan Rather fired, huh?


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