Mauffrey capitulated to the media’s demand that they be let in on Michael Bell’s trial even though he is being tried as a juvenile.

HOUSTON – Replying to a lawsuit filed by a coalition of U.S. media companies, the judge overseeing the trial of Mychal Bell, one of the teenage defendants in the racially charged Jena 6 case in Louisiana, reversed course Thursday and agreed to open Bell’s upcoming juvenile trial to the public.

But LaSalle Parish District Judge J.P. Mauffray, in a court filing, maintained that he is not required to open pre-trial hearings in Bell’s case to the news media or the public, and he argued that the media lawsuit seeking full access to Bell’s case should be dismissed.

The lawsuit, initiated by the Chicago Tribune and joined by the Associated Press, The New York Times Co., CNN and other major media organizations, asserts that Mauffray’s earlier decision to close all the proceedings in Bell’s case runs counter to Louisiana juvenile laws and provisions of both the Louisiana and U.S. Constitutions.

After all the shady things perpetuated by the authorities in Jena, it’s a relief to know they won’t be able to take similar actions behind closed doors in the Bell trial. I still don’t really understand how he hasn’t been recused given his connection to Bell’s previous, and overturned, conviction as an adult.

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