September 21, 2006

CORY MAYE UPDATE: Radley Balko reports:

Cory Maye will not sleep on death row tonight. Nor, for that matter, any night for the foreseeable future.

At the conclusion of the hearing today, Judge Michael Eubanks ruled on two of the defense team’s battery of arguments. Both rulings from the bench tonight dealt with Rhonda Cooper’s competence. Judge Eubanks found that Ms. Cooper was competent for the trial, but incompetent for the sentencing.

I have my quarrels with that ruling, obviously. But in the short run, it means that Cory will at the very least get a new sentencing trial. And until and if that happens, he will no longer be on death row, and for the moment is no longer condemned to die.

Judge Eubanks did not issue a ruling on any of the other defense arguments — and there were lots of them. It may be a month or more before we hear what he has decided. That said, I am cautiously optimistic.

Read the whole thing. And Radley’s piece on the case in Reason — alas, not available online yet — is really good. Alas, one thing he reports is that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) won’t even consider clemency, which strikes me as a serious abdication of responsibility on Barbour’s part.

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