Friday, January 25, 2008

Jena 6 March Noose Perpitrator Charged

I was there live in the flesh when this incident took place. It happened to the group that I helped to organize to go to Jena, as we waited for our buses to come back to Nashville that night after the March. I wrote about it here, this blog did not exist yet.

Feds indict teen for 'threatening' noose


ALEXANDRIA, LA -- It was one of the few blights reported by the organizers of a 20,000-person civil rights demonstration held last year in a Louisiana town at the center of a national race debate.

As a group of marchers waited for a bus to transport them from Alexandria, La., to Tennessee, a pickup truck allegedly cruised slowly by, a pair of nooses hanging from the back of the truck. Local police officers took notice and arrested the teen driver and his passenger.

Four months later, federal prosecutors have announced the indictment of Jeremiah Munsen, 18, on a federal hate crime, and civil rights conspiracy charges, for "his role in threatening and intimidating marchers" as they attempted to cross a state line.

Munsen and his 16-year-old passenger, who has not been identified by authorities, allegedly fashioned a pair of extension cords into nooses and discussed the Ku Klux Klan as they drove repeatedly past a group of marchers gathered at a bus stop, while they waited for Tennessee-bound transportation.

The rest of the story: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/national_world&id=5911694

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

6 black youth beating unconscious and then kicking in the head the helpless white victim was justified and not a hate crime.

But dangling a noose from a truck IS a hate crime and could land the offender in federal prison for 11 years?

I guess racism is acceptable as long as it's a caucasian on the receiving end of the brutality.

Yobachi said...

1. What is your proof that 6 Black Kids beat Justin Barker?

2. However many of them there were, all reasonable evidence suggest that the intent of the beating was in response to taunting, not based on racial motivation; therefore it has nothing to do with a hate crime. I'm sure you cannot produce one piece of evidence to show that Barker was attacked simply for being white.

3. Threating somebody with a noose is serious business. You're sick that you don't think so. I was there and have original footage of the shot gun they had being pulled out of the truck. If you don't think circaling around Black people with a death threat symbol is any big deal, it just shows what you think of Black people.

4. Funny that you and all of your type aren't outraged about how the white kids jumped one the Jena 6 Defendents before the Barker beating and only one of the perpitrators was even charged and he got probation; though they beat him with a bear bottle. But you think Black kids should get 22 to 100 years, and white kids who do the same thing should get probation or nothing. Actually it's not funny, it's a disgusting malady.

5. Now, come back and try me again when you actually know something about the case

Think before you speak... said...

Someone has proof that the Jena 6 didn't beat up Justin Barker? I think the courts might want to hear from you then, because it seems those families are facing a civil suit and could use useful information like that.

Newsflash, yobachi, beating people up so bad they are required to go to the hospital is against the law no matter what the person said or did. Blindly believing that they were "just" in beating up someone who had no known link to any noose hanging incident in Jena isn't the proper action. Is it a hate crime? No, it isn't a hate crime. Just because some black kids beat up a white kid doesn't make it a hate crime, otherwise any fight involving two different races would be a hate crime - a silly thing to conclude. It is a crime though, and the people who commited are paying society's price. That's the way society works, because a lot of "controversy" around this case seems to revolve around a total lack of evidence on the defense side of the case. And a lot of media exposure blowing the case out of proporion and putting forth very suggestive viewpoints with very little factual backing relevent to the case.

The above poster's "proof" that it happened is the corroborating eyewitness testimony that they beat up Justin Barker. What is your proof that they didn't? Last I've heard, there isn't any.

As for the noose perpitrator above. He deserves everything he gets. No need for stuff like that in this world. I hope he gets 10 years to be honest.

A very sad situation indeed. Seems like a town whose adults failed their kids and let things get out of hand.

Racism is never acceptable, no matter what race it comes from.

Yobachi said...

"Someone has proof that the Jena 6 didn't beat up Justin Barker?"

Someone has proof the Jena 6 did beat up Justine Barker? I think that's what the Constitution REQUIRES the courts to here. Where is it? I've seen not one stitch, do you have it; because apparently Reed Walters doesn't? Show me a piece of evidence on each of the 6.

"Newsflash, yobachi, beating people up so bad they are required to go to the hospital is against the law no matter what the person said or did."

I didn't say it wasn't, so that's not a newsflash, that's called a Straw Man argument - a logical fallacy used when one doesn't really have an argument against the person's actual position.

I said white people shouldn't be allowed to get away with the same crime, and I said it wasn't a crime that amounts to 100 years worth of prison.

Further, since you seemed to have left it out; a verbal assault can also be a crime and it can serve as mitigation to a battery. I’m sure you knew that and your omission of that critical point was just an oversight.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what you're saying. I mean, doesn't there have to be proof on each member of the Jena Six, in order for them to even stand trial? It's not like the police can just arrest whomever they feel like without obtaining a warrant for arrest.

Also, by charging them with attempted murder, they could plea bargain down to a more minor offense, or reduce the charge in order for a conviction. This is precisely what happened when the attempted second-degree murder became second-degree battery (which the jury upheld). It isn't an issue of racism, it's an issue of making sure a conviction sticks. A DA would never defend charges that couldn't be upheld (again by getting the warrant, the police had already gained approval of the courts).

I mean, if the charges were too harsh, well they were reduced, and the jury selected by both sides agreed that it was reasonable. (Oh, and about the all white jury, the public defender agreed to the jury selection.) I assume the public defender appointed was competent, of course, as he still has a job defending others. And the legal advice offered by the public defender was ignored (which is one reason why the sentence was so harsh).

As impossible as it is to imagine, by taking race out of the equation, you still have 6 people beating up one person- a person that was not only knocked unconscious and still beaten, but who was struck from behind in a clearly premeditated fashion. (If multiple eyewitness testimony and the superintendent are to be believed).

Like I said, numerous witnesses have come forward to support the claim that the six had ambushed Justin Barker. So even if it was in response to taunting, the six are still to be held responsible for causing extensive physical harm to another person.

So to contribute to your comments (which thankfully you numbered)

1- By being arrested with a warrant, having witnesses identify the Jena Six, and by themselves pleading guilty to the charges, I feel that there is substantial proof that they are, in fact, guilty of the charges brought against them.

2- Regardless of intent, they still completely changed another person's life by beating him badly. You cannot say that Justin's rights were not infringed upon by being beaten, even if you feel it is justified- the Jena Six broke the law, and he did not (as far as we know factually). This is also why no criminal charges have been brought against Justin.

Another factor which lead to the harshness of their sentences was the fact that some of them had prior records and recently one of the Jena Six was involved in the assault of another student.

3- Yes, I agree with you. Threatening someone with a noose is serious business. However, beating someone 6 on 1 and kicking his skull after he's been knocked unconscious is also a serious offense. Both should be punished by the law.

4- I must call into question the comment you previously made, 'you and all your type' and ask what this is in reference to. Also, I notice that you capitalize Black but do not capitalize white. It seems that there may be some unintentional racism in your responses.

I mean, beating anyone is an atrocious act that should be punished by the law. However, this is the account regarding the beer bottle incident I repeatedly found online:

"A group broke the two up, and the woman asked the white man, not a student, and the black students to leave the party. Once outside, another fight started between a group of white men, not students, and the black students. Police were called, and a white man was arrested. He pleaded guilty to simple battery.
Even though there were reports of one of the black students receiving injuries that required medical attention, there is no record of that."

I just think it is interesting that you cannot see the irony in your posts. Someone seeing racism in the events involving the Jena Six, could not see their own personal leanings towards discrimination. You are blatantly defending people who themselves plead guilty. They had a fair trial with a competent lawyer and they were reasonably sentenced.

Also, your definition of straw man argument is incorrect and inappropriately applied in this case. A straw man argument is the over-exaggeration of another's beliefs (like calling Bush the new Hitler because of the Iraq war), it's something that is meant to make the opponent's argument easier to refute. In this case you made reference to the intent of the crime as a mitigating factor, thus, the next poster was completely in line with your course of argument by saying that a serious crime was still committed.

I don't feel anyone is trying to convince you white people should get away with the crime. The law demands equal punishment regardless of race. If white people are found guilty of the same crime, I would expect them to be charged the same way. Do you have any evidence that says that 6 whites (some with prior records) who beat up a single black student (struck him in the back of his skull and the continued to kick an unconscious body) and who were convicted of the crime serve a lesser sentence? Strictly on the basis of their being white? If you have access to such information, then by all means use it to reform an obviously corrupt system.

You are right, verbal assault can most certainly be a criminal offense. If the Jena six wish, they could go to the police and charge Justin Barker and take him to court. They haven't done so, so the police cannot get involved as no one has come forward with irrefutable evidence that Justin Barker had in fact made those comments.

In conclusion, you seem to be taking the actions of other students and non-students (who were justly punished for their actions) and applying them to a different student as a justification for their violence.

I feel it is ironic that in claiming equality and justice you seem to try to play down the beating of 6 against one that resulted in a hospital visit and health problems for the rest of another person's life.

So I ask you, what do you feel a fair sentencing time would be for the Jena Six (in accordance to sentencing guidelines and precedents)? Also, keep in mind that they could have plea bargained to a lesser crime and gotten a lesser sentence, but refused the advice of the public defender.

Oh, and just to let you know the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly say anything about the presumption of innocence as you claim.

Finally, just as a fun experiment, I want you to guess my race.

(Also, if you choose to respond, please check your post for grammatical and spelling errors.)

GodHelpUsAll said...

Both the Jena 6 and Justin Barker were in the wrong. However, it's how they went about punishing the Jena 6. Both parties should have received the same punishment. Justin shouild have gotten the same punishment, or like Justin, the Jena 6 should've have gotten punished. Anyway, all we can do is pray.

Anonymous said...

CBSNews

"To be clear, not one of us heard Justin use any slur or say anything that justified Mychal Bell attacking Justin nor did any of us see Justin do anything that would cause Mychal to react," the statement said.

The statement also expressed sympathy for Barker and his family, and acknowledged the past 2½ years had "caused Justin and his parents tremendous pain and suffering, much of which has gone unrecognized."

None of the defendants spoke to reporters.

By pleading no contest, the five do not admit guilt but acknowledge prosecutors had enough evidence for a conviction.

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