Judge J.P. Mauffray was removed from the Jena 6 case last year by a district court for making prejudicial statements about the defendants. Not racially prejudice statements (that very well may be what drove them); but judicially prejudiced in that a judge is suppose to act as an unbiased arbitrator of the law. Yet, before the they went to trial he was practically proclaiming the accused guilt from the bench.
Our good friend District Attorney Reed Walters, who first charged the 6 with attempt murder; yet within a year had offered an 18 month plea deal to the one defendant he's defendant that he's yet bothered to prosecute, is fighting to over turn this ruling.
Just one thing though; the Judge Mauffray has since resigned!
Talk about the ultimate moot point. But this is Reed Walters showing who he is. His vindictiveness, unwillingness to back down, to reassess, to be told anything, or be moved in anyway has him fighting to get a judge put back on the case who is no longer a judge.
Jena 6 attorneys: Judge's removal should be upheld
Here's a report from www.katc.com
NEW ORLEANS -- Attorneys for members of the so-called Jena Six on Tuesday asked an appeals court to uphold the removal of a judge because of statements he made about the defendants in the case.
The attorneys also argued that Judge J.P. Mauffray Jr., who was removed from the case, has since retired.
"We simply pointed out again why Judge Mauffray is not an appropriate person to hear this case, and that it is moot anyway," said David Utter of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, who represents one of the defendants accused of attacking a fellow Jena High School student in December 2006.
After Mauffray called the teens "trouble makers" and "a violent bunch," District Judge Thomas Yeager found there was an appearance of impropriety in the statements. Yeager was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to handle the cases after Mauffray was removed.
The five defendants, Robert Bailey Jr.; Jesse Ray Beard; Carwin Jones; Bryant Purvis; and Theo Shaw are charged with aggravated second-degree battery.
Mychal Bell, the sixth defendant, pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery and was held in custody for 18 months
LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters appealed the removal of Mauffray, who retired in January.
The six black teens were arrested and initially charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with a Dec. 4, 2006, attack on fellow student Justin Barker, who is white. The charges were later reduced.