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Proud to Be a Fellow-Citizen of Radley Balko's

Unfogged says "Radley Balko for Emperor!" Jim Henley has the extended version:

Radley Balko for Emperor: It looks very likely that Radley Balko has saved Cory Maye's life. I put it that way on purpose. In fact, it has taken dogged, pro bono legal work by Covington and Burling, the local efforts of the public defender and considerable generosity on the part of Radley's employer regarding how he's been spending his time the last few months. We should salute every one of those people. And to make Radley's employers especially happy, we should buy his book or at least download the PDF.

But all of those other people got involved because Radley Balko dragged this case into the public eye and kept it there. If there was ever a triumph of the fucking blogosphere moment, this is it. So much of what The BlogosphereTM crows about amounts to collecting scalps - hit pieces, gang stomps, ambushes. Getting people fired. Disgracing someone.

Here, instead, a guy who did not deserve to be killed but was going to be, will probably not be killed after all. His daughter will not be orphaned.

I'm very proud that Radley Balko is my friend.

Your cynical voice may be saying,"It's great that one black guy in the country interested enough rich white lawyers to get some eventual justice, but that's not a justice system worthy of the name." You'd be right. Based on his writing, I'm sure Radley would agree with you. The Maye case is a start. It needs to become the teachable moment about how far off track the criminal justice system in this country has gotten, and how much farther wrong it could go. Cory Maye got swamped by a perfect storm of liberty-destroying practices American law enforcement has adopted in the name of our wasteful, cruel and impossible "War on Drugs." Confidential informants, no-knock raids, police militarization. They all feature.

And it threatens to get worse. This week in "compromise" legislation the Senate gave the President authority to hide people away and torture them in the name of "fighting terrorism." Since 2001, every expanded "antiterrorism" power that Congress has granted to law enforcement has ended up being used by federal agencies against ordinary crime. Informal torture has been part of the drug war for a long time. Formal torture is coming as soon as some legislator figures pushing for it will let him appear "tough on crime," or as soon as some prosecutor decides it will help him get elected governor. Once the state can alternatively interrogate the Cory Mayes of the world into "confessing" to their crimes, there will be less of this fuss and bother about appeals.

For now, though, Cory Maye will, we think, live. It's a start.