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Old 10-10-2007, 08:52 PM   #91
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http://www.comcast.net/news/index.js...10/785044.html

Have we learned nothing from history?! Or are we condemned to repeat it?

I'm sorry deep, but I cannot agree with your assessment. As I stated in an earlier post, toilet-papering a tree is a prank. Hanging a noose in it is a blatant threat. And it's not about being "P.C.", it's about basic human rights and treating your fellow human beings with respect, courtesy and decency.
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:16 PM   #92
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Respect, courtesy and decency arent really basic human rights (although there was a distinction in your post), and deep was being sarcastic.

Although Police, Coast Guard and a High School are hardly free speech zones and that type of behaviour should be punished.
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:21 PM   #93
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Yes, I believe deep was being sarcastic per usual.

Ironically, the same DA who initially scolded that if Jena High School students didn't stop "fussing" about this "innocent prank" then "I can end your lives with the stroke of a pen" now says (publically, anyway) that "I cannot overemphasize what a villainous act that was" and "the people that did it should be ashamed of what they unleashed on this town."
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:12 AM   #94
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I heard about Columbia, supposedly she has had problems with another professor there. I'm sure many people couldn't believe that a professor could so such a thing if that is the case.

Racist incident roils Pa. high school

By MARTHA RAFFAELE, Associated Press Writer 27 minutes ago

For years, a clique of high school students in this prosperous and overwhelmingly white borough have worn clothes adorned with Confederate flags and parked their pickups in a section of the school parking lot known as "redneck row."

The display, some parents of minority students say, was just one symptom of festering racism that school officials ignored until animosities boiled over last week.

That's when three white 16-year-old students allegedly yelled racial slurs and threw paper wads at minority students outside the 1,600-student Warwick High School.

School officials vowed to discipline the three students, tighten security and ban Confederate flags on school property. On Wednesday, police charged the three with disorderly conduct.

The "disturbing and repulsive" Oct. 3 confrontation was a "wake-up call" for Warwick High School, said Superintendent John George. "Perhaps we were lulled into a false sense that our school district was immune to racism and bigotry," he said.

Some students suspect the perpetrators were trying to imitate white students in Jena, La., who fanned racial tensions last year by hanging nooses from a tree outside a high school.

Police Chief William Sease said there's no evidence the suspects were influenced by the Jena case.

"What is racial intimidation? It's trying to have power over someone else," Sease said. "I think that's their motivation."

Erasmo Cora Jr., a Puerto Rican native whose 14-year-old son, Erik, was among the victims, said the school should expel all of the roughly dozen students who allegedly engaged in racist behavior.

"I'm not going to put up with it — my kid should have never went through this," Cora said. "Either they all get out, or we're just going to have to make a bigger issue of it."

The confrontation comes as a major disappointment to Cora. He moved his family from nearby Lancaster about a year ago, expecting his son to receive a better education than he could in Lancaster's troubled schools.

Erik Cora, a freshman, said he was hanging out by the flagpole with two boys — one black and one biracial — when the taunting occurred before the start of school. It broke up when the morning bell rang, but it also spawned rumors that some students planned to bring guns to school later in the week and start riots.

At a community meeting Monday, some parents said their earlier complaints about Confederate flag displays and racial slurs fell on deaf ears. Others complained that the district took too long to punish the perpetrators.

The superintendent said the incident was revealed only after a teacher overheard other students discussing it and alerted administrators. Although school officials were previously aware of "redneck row," they couldn't discipline students merely for displaying a Confederate flag, a symbol that has been protected under the First Amendment, he said.

"If there were signs of unrest, they were not evident to us at that point," George said.

The high school is just blocks away from a picturesque downtown, the hub of the borough of about 9,000 residents founded in 1756. Lititz is known for quaint shops, artists and Sturgis Pretzel House, which bills itself as America's first pretzel bakery, and is named after a Bohemian castle.

Taryn Burkman, who attended the high school last year, said she couldn't remember the "redneck row" clique causing any trouble in the past.

"They always had the flags, but they never did anything to the black kids," said Burkman, 17, who is white. "I don't understand why it all happened this year."

Others speculate that the perpetrators felt threatened by a growing but still tiny minority population at the high school. Hispanics account for roughly 3 percent and blacks 2 percent of this year's total enrollment.

"Last year, there was a little bit of racism, but it didn't surface as much because there weren't as many minorities," said Jasmine Whaley, a 15-year-old sophomore who is black. "I never thought I was in danger or anything, but this year it's starting to escalate more, so now I'm starting to get kind of worried."

Since Friday, police have been conducting daily patrols near the school and screening backpacks and book bags for weapons. Erik Cora said he feels the measures are excessive.

"Now kids are trying to feel sorry for me, and I don't want kids to feel sorry for me," he said.
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:33 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Although school officials were previously aware of "redneck row," they couldn't discipline students merely for displaying a Confederate flag, a symbol that has been protected under the First Amendment, he said.
Unless I'm missing something this is false...I've always been under the impression that the 1st Amendment doesn't extend to school grounds; that's why they can ban cussing etc. I think we even had a thread about it, maybe the one about the child who wanted to be Jesus for Halloween? I'm not premium so I can't search, but I thought that was the topic.
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:37 PM   #96
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Respect, courtesy and decency arent really basic human rights (although there was a distinction in your post), and deep was being sarcastic.
Sorry, I can't always tell, even when someone is actually speaking to me.
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:53 AM   #97
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Mychal Bell is back in a juvenile facility for probation violation
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:35 AM   #98
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Media myths about the Jena 6
A local journalist tells the story you haven't heard.
By Craig Franklin
from the October 24, 2007 edition

E-mail Print Letter to the Editor Republish del.icio.us digg

Page 1 of 3


Opinion editor Josh Burek talks with Craig Franklin about the distorted story of the Jena 6.Jena, La. - By now, almost everyone in America has heard of Jena, La., because they've all heard the story of the "Jena 6." White students hanging nooses barely punished, a schoolyard fight, excessive punishment for the six black attackers, racist local officials, public outrage and protests – the outside media made sure everyone knew the basics.

There's just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice.

I should know. I live in Jena. My wife has taught at Jena High School for many years. And most important, I am probably the only reporter who has covered these events from the very beginning.

The reason the Jena cases have been propelled into the world spotlight is two-fold: First, because local officials did not speak publicly early on about the true events of the past year, the media simply formed their stories based on one-side's statements – the Jena 6. Second, the media were downright lazy in their efforts to find the truth. Often, they simply reported what they'd read on blogs, which expressed only one side of the issue.

The real story of Jena and the Jena 6 is quite different from what the national media presented. It's time to set the record straight.

Myth 1: The Whites-Only Tree. There has never been a "whites-only" tree at Jena High School. Students of all races sat underneath this tree. When a student asked during an assembly at the start of school last year if anyone could sit under the tree, it evoked laughter from everyone present – blacks and whites. As reported by students in the assembly, the question was asked to make a joke and to drag out the assembly and avoid class.

Myth 2: Nooses a Signal to Black Students. An investigation by school officials, police, and an FBI agent revealed the true motivation behind the placing of two nooses in the tree the day after the assembly. According to the expulsion committee, the crudely constructed nooses were not aimed at black students. Instead, they were understood to be a prank by three white students aimed at their fellow white friends, members of the school rodeo team. (The students apparently got the idea from watching episodes of "Lonesome Dove.") The committee further concluded that the three young teens had no knowledge that nooses symbolize the terrible legacy of the lynchings of countless blacks in American history. When informed of this history by school officials, they became visibly remorseful because they had many black friends. Another myth concerns their punishment, which was not a three-day suspension, but rather nine days at an alternative facility followed by two weeks of in-school suspension, Saturday detentions, attendance at Discipline Court, and evaluation by licensed mental-health professionals. The students who hung the nooses have not publicly come forward to give their version of events.

Page 2 of 3

Page 1 | 2 | Page 3


Opinion editor Josh Burek talks with Craig Franklin about the distorted story of the Jena 6.Myth 3: Nooses Were a Hate Crime. Although many believe the three white students should have been prosecuted for a hate crime for hanging the nooses, the incident did not meet the legal criteria for a federal hate crime. It also did not meet the standard for Louisiana's hate-crime statute, and though widely condemned by all officials, there was no crime to charge the youths with.

Myth 4: DA's Threat to Black Students. When District Attorney Reed Walters spoke to Jena High students at an assembly in September, he did not tell black students that he could make their life miserable with "the stroke of a pen." Instead, according to Walters, "two or three girls, white girls, were chit-chatting on their cellphones or playing with their cellphones right in the middle of my dissertation. I got a little irritated at them and said, 'Pay attention to me. I am right now having to deal with an aggravated rape case where I've got to decide whether the death penalty applies or not.' I said, 'Look, I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. With the stroke of a pen I can make your life miserable so I want you to call me before you do something stupid.'"

Mr. Walters had been called to the assembly by police, who had been at the school earlier that day dealing with some students who were causing disturbances. Teachers and students have confirmed Walters's version of events.

Myth 5: The Fair Barn Party Incident. On Dec. 1, 2006, a private party – not an all-white party as reported – was held at the local community center called the Fair Barn. Robert Bailey Jr., soon to be one of the Jena 6, came to the party with others seeking admittance.

When they were denied entrance by the renter of the facility, a white male named Justin Sloan (not a Jena High student) at the party attacked Bailey and hit him in the face with his fist. This is reported in witness statements to police, including the victim, Robert Bailey, Jr.

Months later, Bailey contended he was hit in the head with a beer bottle and required stitches. No medical records show this ever occurred. Mr. Sloan was prosecuted for simple battery, which according to Louisiana law, is the proper charge for hitting someone with a fist.

Myth 6: The "Gotta-Go" Grocery Incident. On Dec. 2, 2006, Bailey and two other black Jena High students were involved in an altercation at this local convenience store, stemming from the incident that occurred the night before. The three were accused by police of jumping a white man as he entered the store and stealing a shotgun from him. The two parties gave conflicting statements to police. However, two unrelated eye witnesses of the event gave statements that corresponded with that of the white male.

Myth 7: The Schoolyard Fight. The event on Dec. 4, 2006 was consistently labeled a "schoolyard fight." But witnesses described something much more horrific. Several black students, including those now known as the Jena 6, barricaded an exit to the school's gym as they lay in wait for Justin Barker to exit. (It remains unclear why Mr. Barker was specifically targeted.)

When Barker tried to leave through another exit, court testimony indicates, he was hit from behind by Mychal Bell. Multiple witnesses confirmed that Barker was immediately knocked unconscious and lay on the floor defenseless as several other black students joined together to kick and stomp him, with most of the blows striking his head. Police speculate that the motivation for the attack was related to the racially charged fights that had occurred during the previous weekend.

Myth 8: The Attack Is Linked to the Nooses. Nowhere in any of the evidence, including statements by witnesses and defendants, is there any reference to the noose incident that occurred three months prior. This was confirmed by the United States attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, Donald Washington, on numerous occasions.

Myth 9: Mychal Bell's All-White Jury. While it is true that Mychal Bell was convicted as an adult by an all-white jury in June (a conviction that was later overturned with his case sent to juvenile court), the jury selection process was completely legal and withstood an investigation by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Court officials insist that several black residents were summoned for jury duty, but did not appear.

Myth 10: Jena 6 as Model Youth. While some members were simply caught up in the moment, others had criminal records. Bell had at least four prior violent-crime arrests before the December attack, and was on probation during most of this year.

Myth 11: Jena Is One of the Most Racist Towns in America. Actually, Jena is a wonderful place to live for both whites and blacks. The media's distortion and outright lies concerning the case have given this rural Louisiana town a label it doesn't deserve.

Myth 12: Two Levels of Justice. Outside protesters were convinced that the prosecution of the Jena 6 was proof of a racially biased system of justice. But the US Justice Department's investigation found no evidence to support such a claim. In fact, the percentage of blacks and whites prosecuted matches the parish's population statistics.

These are just 12 of many myths that are portrayed as fact in the media concerning the Jena cases. (A more thorough review of all events can be found at www.thejenatimes.net – click on Chronological Order of Events.)

As with the Duke Lacrosse case, the truth about Jena will eventually be known. But the town of Jena isn't expecting any apologies from the media. They will probably never admit their error and have already moved on to the next "big" story. Meanwhile in Jena, residents are getting back to their regular routines, where friends are friends regardless of race. Just as it has been all along.

• Craig Franklin is assistant editor of The Jena Times.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:16 PM   #99
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I was wondering when the backlash was coming, I guess this is it. So let's look at these "myths" one by one...

Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Media myths about the Jena 6
A local journalist tells the story you haven't heard.
By Craig Franklin
from the October 24, 2007 edition

E-mail Print Letter to the Editor Republish del.icio.us digg

Opinion editor Josh Burek talks with Craig Franklin about the distorted story of the Jena 6.Jena, La. - By now, almost everyone in America has heard of Jena, La., because they've all heard the story of the "Jena 6." White students hanging nooses barely punished, a schoolyard fight, excessive punishment for the six black attackers, racist local officials, public outrage and protests – the outside media made sure everyone knew the basics.

There's just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice.

I should know. I live in Jena. My wife has taught at Jena High School for many years. And most important, I am probably the only reporter who has covered these events from the very beginning.

The reason the Jena cases have been propelled into the world spotlight is two-fold: First, because local officials did not speak publicly early on about the true events of the past year, the media simply formed their stories based on one-side's statements – the Jena 6. Second, the media were downright lazy in their efforts to find the truth. Often, they simply reported what they'd read on blogs, which expressed only one side of the issue.

The real story of Jena and the Jena 6 is quite different from what the national media presented. It's time to set the record straight.

Myth 1: The Whites-Only Tree. There has never been a "whites-only" tree at Jena High School. Students of all races sat underneath this tree. When a student asked during an assembly at the start of school last year if anyone could sit under the tree, it evoked laughter from everyone present – blacks and whites. As reported by students in the assembly, the question was asked to make a joke and to drag out the assembly and avoid class.
OK, anonymous "students at the assembly". I can double check that right? Oh that's right, I can't. No names. (To be fair, it's probably because the students are minors). But if there's no "white tree" at Jena high, what tree was the subject of this question? Was it something like, "excuse me, but can anybody sit under the purple tree?" Would love a quote, but alas, none.

Quote:
Myth 2: Nooses a Signal to Black Students. An investigation by school officials, police, and an FBI agent revealed the true motivation behind the placing of two nooses in the tree the day after the assembly. According to the expulsion committee, the crudely constructed nooses were not aimed at black students. Instead, they were understood to be a prank by three white students aimed at their fellow white friends, members of the school rodeo team. (The students apparently got the idea from watching episodes of "Lonesome Dove.") The committee further concluded that the three young teens had no knowledge that nooses symbolize the terrible legacy of the lynchings of countless blacks in American history. When informed of this history by school officials, they became visibly remorseful because they had many black friends. Another myth concerns their punishment, which was not a three-day suspension, but rather nine days at an alternative facility followed by two weeks of in-school suspension, Saturday detentions, attendance at Discipline Court, and evaluation by licensed mental-health professionals. The students who hung the nooses have not publicly come forward to give their version of events.
Wow, so much to see here. So these kids were playing a prank on their white rodeo buddies. So why the excessive punishment? Sounds to me like burning the candle at both ends. Either it was simple ball-busting among buddies and deserved little if any punishment, or it was racist in nature and merited the detention, suspension, and mental evaluation that was apparently given. Just doesn't pass the smell test IMO.

Also, how many high school kids do you know that are kicking back watching "Lonesome Dove"? I mean, honestly.

Quote:
Myth 3: Nooses Were a Hate Crime. Although many believe the three white students should have been prosecuted for a hate crime for hanging the nooses, the incident did not meet the legal criteria for a federal hate crime. It also did not meet the standard for Louisiana's hate-crime statute, and though widely condemned by all officials, there was no crime to charge the youths with.
Again, if it was a prank between white buddies shouldn't that have been the end of it? I'm guessing nobody bought the lame rodeo/Lonesome Dove story...but I'm also guessing they still figured it was "just a prank".

Quote:
Myth 4: DA's Threat to Black Students. When District Attorney Reed Walters spoke to Jena High students at an assembly in September, he did not tell black students that he could make their life miserable with "the stroke of a pen." Instead, according to Walters, "two or three girls, white girls, were chit-chatting on their cellphones or playing with their cellphones right in the middle of my dissertation. I got a little irritated at them and said, 'Pay attention to me. I am right now having to deal with an aggravated rape case where I've got to decide whether the death penalty applies or not.' I said, 'Look, I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. With the stroke of a pen I can make your life miserable so I want you to call me before you do something stupid.'"
OK so he did say it. So how is this a "myth"? And why was their an assembly again? What was DA Walters exactly doing at Jena High...oh that's right, their was tension because of some white-on-white ball-busting, and riveting episodes of "Lonesome Dove". Riiiiiiiiight.

Quote:
Mr. Walters had been called to the assembly by police, who had been at the school earlier that day dealing with some students who were causing disturbances. Teachers and students have confirmed Walters's version of events.
Yeah, OK. Maybe some students, but based on what I've read elsewhere other students tell a different story. One that sounds a little more believable, based on other events.

Quote:
Myth 5: The Fair Barn Party Incident. On Dec. 1, 2006, a private party – not an all-white party as reported – was held at the local community center called the Fair Barn. Robert Bailey Jr., soon to be one of the Jena 6, came to the party with others seeking admittance.

When they were denied entrance by the renter of the facility, a white male named Justin Sloan (not a Jena High student) at the party attacked Bailey and hit him in the face with his fist. This is reported in witness statements to police, including the victim, Robert Bailey, Jr.

Months later, Bailey contended he was hit in the head with a beer bottle and required stitches. No medical records show this ever occurred. Mr. Sloan was prosecuted for simple battery, which according to Louisiana law, is the proper charge for hitting someone with a fist.
So there were black folks at this "private" party? No? You don't say? Then I guess it was an all-white party after all.

Quote:
Myth 6: The "Gotta-Go" Grocery Incident. On Dec. 2, 2006, Bailey and two other black Jena High students were involved in an altercation at this local convenience store, stemming from the incident that occurred the night before. The three were accused by police of jumping a white man as he entered the store and stealing a shotgun from him. The two parties gave conflicting statements to police. However, two unrelated eye witnesses of the event gave statements that corresponded with that of the white male.
Yeah, I always pack my 12-guage when I hit the 7-11 for milk. Because, you know, sometimes those cows just won't give that 2% up. OK. Any black witnesses telling this version of the story? I thought not.

Quote:
Myth 7: The Schoolyard Fight. The event on Dec. 4, 2006 was consistently labeled a "schoolyard fight." But witnesses described something much more horrific. Several black students, including those now known as the Jena 6, barricaded an exit to the school's gym as they lay in wait for Justin Barker to exit. (It remains unclear why Mr. Barker was specifically targeted.)

When Barker tried to leave through another exit, court testimony indicates, he was hit from behind by Mychal Bell. Multiple witnesses confirmed that Barker was immediately knocked unconscious and lay on the floor defenseless as several other black students joined together to kick and stomp him, with most of the blows striking his head. Police speculate that the motivation for the attack was related to the racially charged fights that had occurred during the previous weekend.
You gotta do better here if you want to be taken seriously. Wasn't Barker at this "private party"? I thought I'd read that. Give me an explanation as to why he got jumped and I might buy it, depending. Ask him (Barker). Something. I mean, if you're the "Jena insider" who knows better than the rest of us, c'mon, put up or shut up. Come up with something.

And it's still a school fight. Yeah, it was a one-sided ass-whipping, and I personally think it's a chickenshit way to fight somebody, but still a school fight. And that's why nobody believes DA Walters et al, because when you see participants in a school fight charged first with attempted murder(!), and then aggravated assault (because they had shoes on), you question the motivation.

Quote:
Myth 8: The Attack Is Linked to the Nooses. Nowhere in any of the evidence, including statements by witnesses and defendants, is there any reference to the noose incident that occurred three months prior. This was confirmed by the United States attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, Donald Washington, on numerous occasions.
I don't recall anybody saying that. The only linking I've seen is nooses -> racial tension -> the fight at the party -> the Gotta Go thing and the Barker fight. As I'd understood it Barker was linked to the party incident; I don't remember him being one of the accused noose-hangers.

Quote:
Myth 9: Mychal Bell's All-White Jury. While it is true that Mychal Bell was convicted as an adult by an all-white jury in June (a conviction that was later overturned with his case sent to juvenile court), the jury selection process was completely legal and withstood an investigation by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Court officials insist that several black residents were summoned for jury duty, but did not appear.
"It is true that Mychal Bell was convicted as an adult by an all-white jury in June" So this is a myth how, exactly?

Quote:
Myth 10: Jena 6 as Model Youth. While some members were simply caught up in the moment, others had criminal records. Bell had at least four prior violent-crime arrests before the December attack, and was on probation during most of this year.
Nobody said they were angels, just that their charges didn't fit their crime. To assert otherwise is disingenuous at best. Nobody said they were innocent, just that their charges were influenced by race. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary yet.

Quote:
Myth 11: Jena Is One of the Most Racist Towns in America. Actually, Jena is a wonderful place to live for both whites and blacks. The media's distortion and outright lies concerning the case have given this rural Louisiana town a label it doesn't deserve.
That may well be true. As a resident of Jena I'd trust him that far at least. I'd hesitate to label any town "one of the most racist"; to me that's a pretty irresponsible generalization. I do think the events and their handling by the school board and law enforcement indicate a culture of racism, but sadly I don't think that sets Jena apart from lots of other towns.

Quote:
Myth 12: Two Levels of Justice. Outside protesters were convinced that the prosecution of the Jena 6 was proof of a racially biased system of justice. But the US Justice Department's investigation found no evidence to support such a claim. In fact, the percentage of blacks and whites prosecuted matches the parish's population statistics.
Yep, numbers of prosecutions probably match. But if you're white it's simple battery; if you're black it's attempted murder, or (if you're lucky) aggravated assault. If you're black and get in a fight in Jena, better take your Nikes off first.

Quote:
These are just 12 of many myths that are portrayed as fact in the media concerning the Jena cases. (A more thorough review of all events can be found at www.thejenatimes.net – click on Chronological Order of Events.)

As with the Duke Lacrosse case, the truth about Jena will eventually be known. But the town of Jena isn't expecting any apologies from the media. They will probably never admit their error and have already moved on to the next "big" story. Meanwhile in Jena, residents are getting back to their regular routines, where friends are friends regardless of race. Just as it has been all along.
Interesting he mentions the Duke case. When the truth came out the media universally hammered Nifong, and generally went out of its way to paint the accused players in a positive light.

Obviously there's more than one side to this story, and I'm glad at least one local reporter tried to get this side out. And as with most stories like this the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:32 PM   #100
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Most likely, this signals that the last chapter of the case has been reached.
Quote:
Jena 6 defendant takes plea deal

By Howard Witt
Chicago Tribune, December 3, 2007


The district attorney in the racially-charged Jena 6 case in Louisiana agreed to a plea bargain Monday that sharply reduced the charges against the first of the six black teenagers who was facing trial, while attorneys for other defendants said the prosecutor appeared eager to avoid taking their cases to court as well. LaSalle Parish District Atty. Reed Walters, whose initial decision to charge the black teenagers with attempted murder for beating a white youth was condemned as excessive by civil rights leaders, dropped a conspiracy charge against Mychal Bell, 17, and agreed to let him plead guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery, with a sentence of 18 months and credit for time he has served in jail over the last year.

District Judge J.P. Mauffray approved the plea agreement Monday afternoon, just three days before Bell's trial in juvenile court was to have begun. Bell's attorneys said Walters offered them the plea agreement last Thursday, a week after a coalition of U.S. media companies successfully sued Mauffray to force him to open the trial to the public and the press. "This case has been a very difficult chapter in the town's life and for the individuals involved," said David Utter, an attorney for another of the Jena 6 defendants who was charged as a juvenile. "My sense is that the district attorney would like to close this chapter now." Utter and attorneys for several other Jena 6 defendants confirmed that they were engaged in plea negotiations with the district attorney, heralding a potential conclusion to the controversial case that drew more than 20,000 civil rights protesters to Jena in September and earned the town a portrayal in the national media as a racist backwater.
....................................................................................
After the Jena story gained national attention last spring, Walters backed away from the attempted murder charges and instead charged the six black teenagers with aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy. He tried Bell on those charges as an adult in June and won a conviction, but a state appeals court reversed the verdict in September, ruling that Bell should have been prosecuted as a juvenile. Since then, Walters has come under growing political pressure to conclude the Jena 6 cases. Local leaders had been dreading a drawn-out series of criminal trials that would have kept Jena in the spotlight throughout 2008. And Louisiana's outgoing governor, Kathleen Blanco, directly pressed Walters in September not to pursue an appeal of the decision that struck down Bell's adult conviction. Walters said in a statement Monday that he hopes to have the remaining Jena 6 cases resolved "early next year."

Before Walters made his plea bargain offer, Bell's attorneys said they had been preparing pre-trial motions seeking to recuse both the prosecutor and Mauffray from the case. The attorneys said evidence contained in those motions would have embarrassed both men.
"A trial would be very bad for the town, very bad for Reed Walters, very bad for anybody in Jena associated with the process, and it could turn out very bad for the defendants as well," said Alan Bean, head of a small civil rights group called Friends of Justice who was the first activist to call attention to the Jena case. "It had the potential for being a perfect storm in which everybody lost."

Parents on both sides of the case agreed.
There are still questions about whether all 6 of the boys were actually involved in the incident, but for those who were, this charge (second-degree battery, a misdemeanor) is probably what it should've been all along.
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:21 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Most likely, this signals that the last chapter of the case has been reached.

There are still questions about whether all 6 of the boys were actually involved in the incident, but for those who were, this charge (second-degree battery, a misdemeanor) is probably what it should've been all along.
Probably right. I do wish it had gone to trial though, I dislike plea deals on principle and I'd like to have seen it play out in court.
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