"Despite 100 years of heavy social and financial costs, and no indication that victory is attainable, the U.S. government continues to wage its war on drugs," says Drew Carey in a new Reason.tv video that tells the tragic story of Cory Maye and Ron Jones. Maye was in his home late at night with his one-year-old daughter. A stranger kicked down his door and barged into his daughter's dark bedroom. Maye shot and killed the intruder - just as millions of other Americans would.
But it turned out the intruder was actually Police Officer Ron Jones, raiding the home for drugs. Maye had no criminal record or past. The police did not find any drugs in his home at the time, but a few days later claimed to have found small amounts of marijuana. Police found marijuana, crack cocaine residue and scales at Maye's next-door neighbor's home, but never charged that person with a crime.
Instead of the cops admitting they had the wrong part of the duplex, received bad information from an unreliable confidential informant, and that Maye was protecting his family and acting in self-defense, they charged him with capital murder. Maye was convicted and sentenced to death. Thanks in part to the reporting of Reason magazine's Radley Balko, Maye's sentence was later reduced to life in prison.