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Don’t Leave this Bandwagon

September 17, 2007

Last Friday, Chicago Tribune correspondent, Howard Witt wrote a good piece on the Jena 6:

HOUSTON – With the prospect of a major national civil rights protest
looming next week in the central Louisiana town of Jena, a state
appeals court on Friday abruptly vacated the felony conviction of a
black teenager accused of beating a white student in a case fraught
with racial tensions.

Louisiana’s Third Circuit Court of Appeals, acting on an emergency
defense appeal, reversed the aggravated second-degree battery
conviction of Mychal Bell, 17, ruling that the youth had been tried
improperly as an adult in a case that has raised allegations of unequal
justice in the small, mostly white town.

Last week, the trial court judge who presided over Bell’s trial in
June, LaSalle Parish District Judge J.P. Mauffray, vacated a conspiracy
conviction against the youth for the same reason, but inexplicably let
the more serious battery conviction stand. Now the local district
attorney, Reed Walters, must decide whether to refile the entire case
in juvenile court.

Read the rest of the article at the Chicago Tribune‘s website.

—————————————————————————————————

If you planned on going to Jena on September 20th.  Go! 

Mychal Bell and the rest of the Jena 6 are not out of the woods.  The felony conviction has been vacated, but all that serves to do is return the case to the local district attorney.  Reed Walters, the same man who decided in the first place to charge these boys as adults.  The same Reed Walters who threatened the ruination of the other black students lives with a flick of his pen, in order to compel the black student population of the high school to vacate their constitutionally backed protest!  It is this district attorney who must now decide whether to try Mychal as a juvenile!

Let’s put this in perspective. In Washington, D.C. students involved in a fight on school property are not charged with crimes, but first given in-school suspension.  I don’t know if that’s policy or not, but I no I’ve seen it in action. By the way, all the participants are held accountable.  Let us not forget that the white student has not been held accountable for any part he took in either the fight or the hanging of the nooses.   

In my opinion, the fight in Jena will have to go on until:

  1. Mychal Bell and the other five members of the Jena 6’s have been exonerated and their records expunged.
  2. Reed Walters has been disbarred, and charged with malfeasance.
  3. The members of the sheriff’s department participating in the assembly where Reed Walters threatened the student populace are fired – without pension benefits, and
  4. Some form of restitution has been provided  to the families of the 6 boys by the state of Louisiana, and city of Jena.

That my friends would be justice.

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