Saturday, September 15, 2007

The South Shall Be Risible Again!

Update: Some good news for justice and Mychal Bell
Louisiana's 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, acting on an emergency defense appeal, reversed the aggravated second-degree battery conviction of Mychal Bell, 17, ruling that the youth had been tried improperly as an adult in a case that has raised allegations of unequal justice in the small, mostly white town.
[Prosecutor] Walters later reduced the charges to aggravated second-degree battery, contending at Bell's trial -- the first case to go to court -- that the tennis shoes Bell was wearing constituted a dangerous weapon.

Walters said in a statement Friday that he intended to appeal the reversal of Bell's conviction to the Louisiana Supreme Court.


Below the graphic are some lowlights from the original post.
Artist's conception of judge and jury

Via Pursuing Holiness we bring you the latest noose:
Racial demons rear heads

JENA, La. -- [...]One morning last September, students arrived at the local high school to find three hangman's nooses dangling from a tree in the courtyard.

The tree was on the side of the campus that, by long-standing tradition, had always been claimed by white students, who make up more than 80 percent of the 460 students. But a few of the school's 85 black students had decided to challenge the accepted state of things and asked school administrators if they, too, could sit beneath the tree's cooling shade.

"Sit wherever you want," school officials told them. The next day, the nooses were hanging from the branches.
Three white students were quickly identified as being responsible, and the high school principal recommended that they be expelled.
But Jena's white school superintendent, Roy Breithaupt, ruled that the nooses were just a youthful stunt and suspended the students for three days, angering blacks who felt harsher punishments were justified.

"Adolescents play pranks," said Breithaupt
But the LaSalle Parish district attorney, Reed Walters, opted to charge six black students with attempted second-degree murder and other offenses, for which they could face a maximum of 100 years in prison if convicted. All six were expelled from school.
Black teen convicted in beating of white student
Those charges could lead to a sentence of more than 20 years for Bell
The five-woman, one-man jury started deliberating around 11 a.m. Thursday and returned around 2 p.m.
Boy, we're gonna give you a fair trial ... and then we'll hang you.

(Cross posted at Vidiotspeak)