Cory Maye, the man sentenced to death in 2004 for shooting and killing a police officer during a during a botched drug raid in 2001, agreed to a plea agreement on Friday that would allow him to go home. Maye's death sentence was revoked in 2006 due to ineffective counsel during the sentencing portion of his trial.
Last year, Maye was awarded a new trial by the Mississippi Supreme Court, which found that Maye should have been allowed to offer a defense that he was defending the life of his 18-month-old daughter, who was in his home at the time of the raid.
When I reported Maye's case on my blog in 2005, it attracted widespread support from blogs and advocates around the Internet. During his time in prison Maye has exchanged letters with supporters and been given donations to help his family visit him, as well as to buy gifts for his kids. (He has a son as well as his daughter.)
After agreeing to his plea yesterday, Maye gave me a letter to share with the people who have advocated for him over the last five years.
I really don’t know where to start because I’ve missed out on so much in 9 1/2 years. I guess my first 3-4 weeks spent bonding with family & friends. Me and the kids will probably spend a lot of time fishing and going to the park for walks, where we can talk about about whatever comes to mind.
I know I must get a job as soon as possible. There are a few things my kids have asked for in the last few years that I haven’t been able to get them. I know they’re going to be really excited knowing I’m home, and that daddy will be there for their b-days, Christmas, and more. Maybe we’ll stay up all night watching movies, eating cookies and ice cream.
I guess I’m just ready to share all this love that I have built up inside of me all these years. No more late nights or days just wishing I can hold my kids & tell them that their daddy loves them with all his heart. I’m sure my not being physically present has affected them in many ways. I just pray that it’s not too late, and together we can work on healing one another.
I realize a lot of people are going to wonder why I accepted a plea. We just felt that regardless of the facts and evidence that pointed in my favor, there was the possibility that one or more jurors could not see it my way, causing a mistrial. That could leave me sitting here another nine months or more, or longer if it keeps repeating that way.
This is Mississippi, and some people refuse to let go of their old ways from the old days. I just didn’t want to put my family through any more heartache, and didn’t want to have to wait any longer. It was take a chance of a mistrial, or grab hold of my future and be the man/father/friend that I can be, and that my family loves and misses.
I’ll forever be grateful to all the friends and supporters that have been with me throughout all of this. I thank God daily because it’s good to know this world we live in can have many wonderful & caring people in it. I consider myself blessed to know you all are out there. I’ll forever be in your debt. Thanks a million, and may we continue to stay in touch.
Cory J. Maye