NEW ORLEANS - The judge overseeing the criminal cases for the remaining Jena Six defendants was removed against his will Friday for making questionable remarks about the teenagers.
Judge J.P. Mauffray Jr. had acknowledged calling the teens "trouble makers" and "a violent bunch" but insisted he could be impartial. Judge Thomas M. Yeager, who was asked by defense attorneys to review the case, found there was an appearance of impropriety and recused Mauffray.
"The right to a fair and impartial judge is of particular importance in the present cases," Yeager wrote.
As Jarret at Jarett-Carter.com says:
Mauffray’s removal comes not a moment too soon. While most of the attention is focused on his remarks, the matters of inappropriate charges being levied against the teenagers and the unlawful trial of Mychal Bell fly relatively under the radar. While these charges and decisions were ultimately overturned, it took thousands of black folks across the country rallying for justice to inspire movement; an accepted practice in 2008 by both sides, but one that should only be used in cases of emergency in 2008 and beyond.
This is exactly right, and I will add the infraction of Mauffray having been overturned for his illegally allowing Bell to tried as an adult. Then Mauffray first still wouldn't let Bell out of prision, then when he was forced to; Mauffray vindicatively revoked Bell's parole based on the same incident that he was tried on, which had been overturned. He does this 10 months after the incident, for which he had been the presiding judge all along; only after he could not get Bell any other way. His prejudice and personal animos are evident.
This is all a great vindication of what we the Jena 6 protestors have said all along. This was a biased, narrow-minded, over-reaching prosecution; in which the defendants had little chance of a fair trial from day one. This proves, contrary to the naysayers, why our fight was right, and that it was productive: Bell's free, and racist/biased judge is off the case. That's our money and pressure that facilitated these things.