Thursday, August 28, 2008

After Removal Of Judge, Jena 6 Defendants Look To Remove Prosecutor

I was one of the first to report to you Reed Walters conflict of interest regarding being the school board lawyer that recommended the noose hangers receive lighter punishments, then being the prosecutor at the same time.

Also, we made you aware that Judge Mauffray, Reed Walters personal buddy was thrown off the Jena 6 case by a court last month.

Now both come into play as Walters is target for removal.

With judge dismissed, Jena 6 backers now target prosecutor
By Howard Witt | Tribune Correspondent
August 6, 2008

HOUSTON - Fresh from their successful effort to remove a local judge on the grounds that he was biased against them, the defendants in the racially charged Jena 6 case in Louisiana are now seeking the recusal of the local prosecutor for similar reasons.

Attorneys for the five remaining black youths, whose prosecution for beating up a white classmate at Jena High School sparked a civil rights march through the Louisiana town last September, contend that LaSalle Parish District Atty. Reed Walters has a conflict of interest because of his dual role as local prosecutor and counsel for the local school board.

Moreover, the lawyers assert in a motion to recuse Walters that his "bias became clear" when he declined to prosecute three white students who hung nooses from a tree in the high school courtyard in what was seen as a threat directed at black students. Many black residents of Jena regarded the act as a hate crime. The noose incident set off months of racial fights in the town, culminating in the beating incident.

Walters has disputed allegations of bias. But he'll be denied a friendly local judge when the recusal motion comes up for a hearing. That's because Rapides Parish District Judge Thomas Yeager was picked to preside over the Jena cases, following Yeager's decision last week to recuse LaSalle Parish District Judge J.P. Mauffray Jr.

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