Friday, October 26, 2007

National Spotlight Causes DA Strategy Change In Jena Six Case

Apparently some white people are able to get it, and to be honest about race in the legal system:

From Kathy Gill,
From September 27
National Spotlight Causes DA Strategy Change
Update: Bell released from jail on $45,000 bond.

The Shreveport Times said last week that a lack of political leadership at the local and state level had created a vacuum for "Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the BBC" to fill. That (inter)national spotlight has kick-started Governor Kathleen Blanco (D) into action.

Blanco has persuaded LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters to re-try Mychal Bell as a juvenile, in conformance with two court rulings. Walters was on record saying he planned to appeal the Louisiana Supreme Court ruling that Bell was improperly tried as an adult.

Bell is the first Jena High School student to be tried after a December 2006 schoolyard fight with fellow student Justin Barker. Six students were eventually arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Four of the six were 17; Bell was 16; another student was 14.

Under Louisiana law, anyone who is 15 must be tried as an adult if the charge is attempted murder. However, the charge of battery -- the charge for which Bell stood trial -- is not on the "adult charge" list.

The DA called the attack on Barker pre-meditated. However, others assert that the attack was instigated because Barker was taunting Bailey about being beat up at a party a few nights earlier. Bailey was hit, by a white student, with beer bottles; that student was charged with simple battery and given probation.

The author responds to a comment: 7. To “unknown”

First, there are links in my timeline, I believe, that back up anything I said in comment #2.

No, I’m not a doctor. No, I didn’t examine Barker’s injuries. What I did was examine, in detail, probably a hundred “news” accounts of this case. Barker is described as having a black eye and a cut lip. No where have I read that he even needed stitches. He attended a social event that evening — suggesting his injuries were pretty minor.

Second, I am tired of a justice system that is not just.

Finally, I am QUITE tired of being accused of saying that I’m advocating no punishment — whether it’s for Bell or Genarlow Wilson. No Where … NO WHERE … have I made such a suggestion.

The punishment should fit the crime — and it doesn’t in either Bell or Wilson’s case. And I firmly believe that neither young man would be in the position they are in re the judicial system if they had been white. Both were A students; both were student athletes.



Villager said...

Don't let 'em get your down. Stay strong and keep coming correct!

Did you hear that Genarlow Wilson has been set free by the Georgia Supreme Court?

dsf said...

For one moment, let us allow ourselves the luxury of looking at the Jena 6 situation using the type of logic train that their supporters use.

Mychal Bell was adjudicated for a battery charge and placed on probation. Normal if this was his first offense.

Bell was later adjudicated for a property destruction charge. DA Reed Walters agreed with extending his current probation with another. Everyone deserves a second chance, right?

Then Bell was adjudicated with a second battery charge, his third felony. Well, ok, he’s a star on our high school football team. We’ll give him a third chance and extend his probation once again.

Whoops, a second destruction of property charge and his fourth felony adjudication? Perhaps if we give him another probation, he will graduate high school, move on to play college ball, and get out of our hair. “Mychal, fly right and you can escape this one-horse town.”

A third assault charge? “Mychal, if we charge you with a fifth juvenile felony, we have to send you to jail. So, here’s the deal. We’re going to charge you as an adult. Cop the plea and we will put you in the first-offender adult program like we did for Justin Sloan, and get you probation again so you can go play college ball. Then when your probation is over, we will clear your record and none of this ever happened.”

Are these the actions of racist, sentence-hungry judges and prosecutors? Or, a compassionate system that seeks, rather than imprisonment, some other judicial means? The latter, obviously. (Remember, we are using the same train of logic now as Bell’s supporters.)

How about another example?

Let’s see, two battery adjudications and now a third assault-charge. Hmm, looks like this young man follows trends.

Next, two destruction of property adjudications and now we have a burned school. Following the logic of Bell’s supporters concerning established trends, obviously Bell was the arsonist responsible.

So, there we have it. In the very scenario painted by the Jena 6 supporters and using their logic, we have here a prosecutor and a judge whose lack of getting tough on crime (damned liberals anyway) released a serial criminal to assault yet another person and burn down the school.

Yobachi said...

Yes Villager, I posted on BlackPerspective early this morning.

Anonymous said...

Allegations that the beating victim, Justin Barker, taunted members of the Jena Six with racial slurs begin emerging in blogs after the incident began to make headlines. At first, the bloggers said that Barker "must have made racial slurs." This gradually became "he taunted them with racial slurs."

In reality, Barker did engage in an argument with members of the Jena Six in the school gym prior to the beating. The Jena Sx were angry because they had heard Barker had been discussing a fight at a private party that involved Robert Bailey, once of their members, with other students.They confronted Barker and an argument ensued, but none of the witnesses to the argument or members of the Jena Six allege Barker used racial slurs. According to police statements, the only people who used racial slurs were the Jena Six. One witness said that when the Jena Six saw Barker emerge from the gym, one of them said, "There goes that white [epletive deleted] who's been running his mouth."

The Justice Department investigated and determined there was no racial taunting. Federal Attorney Donald Donald Washington told CNN that,"none of the black students involved in the beating made “any mention of nooses, of trees, of the 'N' word or any other word of racial hate." The CNN story (“U.S. Attorney: Nooses, Beating at Jen High Not Related”) is till online at

Robert Bailey's father has told reporters that his son was hit with a beer bottle during the fight at the private party. But in his police statement, Robert Bailey makes no mention of being hit with a beer bottle. He simply says that a 22-year-old white male hit him. The white male was arrested and charged with battery. He pled guilty and was placed on parole because it was his first offens. After allegations that he was hit with a beer bottle began to appear in blogs, the police re-interviewed witnesses and determined no bottle came into place.

Another common but false assertion made in connection with the Jena High School beating is that the Jena Six, who are charged with aggravated bgattery, are being over-charged simply because they are black or would not have been charged if they were white. However, in a 2005 case similar to the Jena Six beating, five white South Carolina teenagers who beat up a black teenager were charged and convicted of "second-degree lynching and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature." (There was no actual lynching involved. Second-degree lynching is defined by South Carolina law as any act of violence on another
person by a mob when death does not occur. A mob is considered two or more people whose purpose and intent is committing an act of violence on another person.) Like the Jena Six, the white teenagers kicked the victim, 16-year-old Isaiah Clyburn, as he lay on the ground. The attack left the
black youth "on the roadside bruised and bloodied from the attack."

The white teenagers received the following sentences: One, who prosecutors said was the person most responsible for the attack, was sentenced to 18 years suspended to six years and 400 hours of public service. Two were
sentenced to 15 years suspended to three years and 300 hours of public
service. And one was sentenced to 15 years suspended to 30 months and 300 hours of community service. A sixth co-defendant, Amy Woody, 17, was also charged with 2nd-degree lynching even though she did not take part in the

The South Carolina incident was an obvious hate crime. The white teenagers, who used racial slurs, singled out Clyburn simply because he was black. However, the white youths were not charged with a hate crime, probably because South Carolina has no applicable hate laws. Like the Jena Six, they
were charged only for the physical assault.

The Jena Six beating also has obvious racial elements. According to witness statements, members of the Jena Six used racial slurs. According to witness statements, at the onset of the attack, "There's that that white [expletive deleted] who's been running his mouth." If the Jena Six had been white and had said, "There's that that
black (expletive deleted] who's been running his mouth," the federal government probably would have filed hate crime charges.

Anonymous said...

fried okra here,
get your full story. the truth is sweeping the nation. go to and view the comments. several links posted to get to know the case at a different perspective other than what the jena six has put out there. give money wisey, the jena six and families are blowing donations!

zbaz said...

Violent Folly of Symbolism
Symbolism in every culture has edges which have been used for good value representation and for the propagation of violence. The simple noose used on sailing ships forever is one such symbol.
Confucius, Jesus Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King were cherished advocates of non-violence. And today non religious people of well meaning intentions and nice religious people, are yet to agree on this concept and find ways to incorporate it into their consciousness.
As we look back on history and culture we see that symbolism and violence have been have been successfully used to unite and divide people. When we think of the Hindu Svastik-Swastika, the Roman cross of capital punishment and many other symbols which have been appropriated and assigned values of power and magic, we have to ponder our own truth vs these symbols.
The Swastik was appropriated by the Nazi regime, and the symbol stimulated fear and still does, among those who experienced unspeakable atrocities. The Cross also had its share of appropriations. It migrated from a signpost to a method of punishment to a universal symbol of salvation. Yet people with similar belief system have been able to use it as a symbol of terror by burning it in ceremonies and in the presence of targeted groups, with impunity.
I recall another symbol in my ancient days that I personally had traumatic reactions to. It’s called a noose. It was and still is somewhat to certain segments of society, a well know symbol of terror. Yet when I was learning to sail a sailboat, one of the first things I had to learn was to make knots and nooses before I could be considered a responsible sailor, and that is where my trauma erupted and gradually dissipated with proper therapeutic help.
In sailing there are so many nooses including historically famous hangman’s noose, which I am sure many a black Pirate sailor has had to walk the plank and grease the noose in the wonderful days of swashbuckling piracy on the high seas.
In America the noose is no fun as it is a symbol of dominance, marginalization, rejection and mortal fear. So for white high school kids to use this to intimidate the black community is abominable. And for their black high school schoolmates to engage in violence against them is inexcusable. Were I a victimized student at that location, I would have gone and produced a couple more nooses and filled each one with a black and white faces thus integrated the symbolic folly. I would take the risk hoping that people’ curiosity would force each side to engage in peaceful-nonviolent dialog, a legacy of MLK.
We all have grown up and lived with abuses from our youth, and nooses are an abuse. But I believe that I could not continue my life in peace and with a healthy mental outlook until I faced my fears, faced all the abusive nooses in my life through group counseling, assertiveness training, and therapeutic help.
Until we as abused persons individually or collectively learn to face our fears we will continue to suffer from symbolic violence intended or unintended.
© 2007/bazgray