Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

The Jena 6

Posted by Maggie on September 19, 2007

The Jena 6 have been all over the web today. There’s even a spread in the NY Times. I heard a thoughtful story on NPR a couple months ago that was actually one of the things that got me started thinking about a blawg.

The current stories try to take a complex case and make it quickly digestible. The NPR story takes a much broader view and also lays out a timeline of events. (There’s a new story today that I haven’t been able to listen to yet.)

As far as actual facts for the recent happenings, it appears there has been one conviction, of Mychal Bell. Both his charges have been thrown out. However, the Louisiana Court of Appeals won’t yet consider a motion to release Bell. The DA has not yet revealed whether he will refile charges. There are numerous other fights without charges having been brought. And a school building has been burned down, but no charges there either.

It’s obvious there are a lot of issues to be dealt with. Marches are expected tomorrow. I’m glad it’s not too late to do something to make sure all the kids involved are treated fairly.

Update:  This morning on CNN I saw the DA in the case at a press conference.  He claimed the case is not nor has ever been “about race.”  To me that’s a sign that they’re on the defensive instead of trying to make peace.  I hope today’s rally is peaceful and that progress can be made.

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One Response to “The Jena 6”

  1. Joe said

    Maggie, I wonder if you might find the time to please read and comment on my post yesterday which was triggered by the Jena 6. It is a call for liberals to take on “willful prosecutors” in the very same way the Conservatives have gone after (created the concept of?) “activist judges.”

    I am not a legal professional, I am a university technologist, so it would be helpful to understand whether my piece can stand up to your gentle legal scrutiny. I enjoy your blog, you are an oft-quoted daily read. Keep up the great work!

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