I know I’m supposed to be on hiatus, but certain things take priority. A judge in Jena has thrown out the conspiracy charge against Mychal Bell on the grounds that the trial was improperly held, but has maintained his conviction on the aggravated assault and battery charge, which means he still faces up to 15 years in prison. From the Chicago Tribune:

Judge J.P. Mauffray threw out a conspiracy conviction against Mychal Bell, granting a defense motion that Bell’s June trial was improperly held in adult court and should instead have been conducted as a juvenile proceeding.

But Mauffray let stand Bell’s conviction on aggravated second-degree battery, for which the 17-year-old faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 20. On that date, thousands of demonstrators from across the nation are planning to descend on the town of 3,000 to protest the prosecution of Bell and five other black youths who have come to be called the “Jena 6.”

In addition, DA Reed Walters has reduced the charges of attempted murder against two of the other defendants, Carwin Jones and Theo Shaw. How the Federal Government has managed to avoid investigating this man’s conduct is beyond me. Keep in mind that Walters threatened the black students, stating he could “end their lives with the stroke of a pen” after they protested white students hanging nooses on the “white tree” in the school yard. The act for which two white students were suspended would have been considered a Federal Hate Crime by any reputable lawyer.

Ruling in a racially charged case that has drawn scrutiny from national civil rights leaders, a judge in the small central Louisiana town of Jena on Tuesday partially vacated the conviction of a black teenager accused in the beating of a white student while the district attorney reduced attempted murder charges against two other black co-defendants.

This isn’t over. Bell’s attorneys seem determined to have the rest of the charges thrown out as well.

Bell’s new defense attorneys said they plan further appeals before the Sept. 20 sentencing hearing in a bid to get his remaining conviction vacated.

“Basically, we are knocking things out one piece at a time,” said Louis Scott, the lead defense attorney. “We are going to try to knock the rest of it out soon.”

In the meantime, please donate to the legal defense fund for the families of the Jena Six.

Related Posts with Thumbnails