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Judge Vacates One Of Mychal Bell’s Convictions

From those seekers of truth and champions of justice at CNN:


Residents: Nooses spark school violence, divide town

By Susan Roesgen and Eliott C. McLaughlin
CNN

JENA, Louisiana (CNN) — A judge Tuesday vacated one of two convictions against a teen involved in a violent, racially charged incident in Louisiana that left another teen hospitalized.

Defense lawyers argued — and 28th Judicial District Court Judge J.P. Mauffray Jr. agreed — that a charge of conspiracy to commit second-degree aggravated battery should have been brought against Mychal Bell in juvenile court rather than adult court.

But he left standing Bell’s conviction on a second-degree aggravated battery charge.

The teen’s attorneys said they would file an emergency appeal and ask for a stay of Bell’s September 20 sentencing date until the appellate court rules.

A regular kid

Bell was like a lot of boys his age, his mother says.

The always-smiling 16-year-old often spent weekends on the couch, munching Little Debbie snack cakes, watching football and dreaming of the day he would join his heroes in the NFL.

That was before police arrested the star running back and five other teens — dubbed the “Jena 6” — on attempted murder and conspiracy charges after a December 4, 2006, fight at the local high school. Three of the six, including Bell, later had their charges reduced to aggravated battery.

Bell, now 17, sits in a cell in Jena, waiting to learn whether he will spend the next two decades in prison.

He’s not the same. He’s grown up a lot since he’s been in there. He’s not the same ol’ smiling Mychal he used to be,” his mother, Melissa Bell, says. “I pray that the judge will go easy on him.”

Mychal Bell wasn’t convicted of attempted murder. The charges were diluted to aggravated battery and conspiracy, but undiluted is the outrage over the fates of Bell and the rest of the Jena 6.

Many in this sleepy town of 3,000, where 12 percent of the population is black, are calling Bell’s June conviction a case of Jim Crow justice.

They question why Bell’s public defender never called a witness in the trial. They question the all-white jury that took three hours to convict him. They question charges they say are wildly overblown. They question why the teen was tried as an adult

This is what passes for journalism from CNN and the rest of our watchdog media.

The always-smiling 16-year-old often spent weekends on the couch, munching Little Debbie snack cakes, watching football and dreaming of the day he would join his heroes in the NFL.

There is no mention anywhere in this lengthy hagiography about Mr. Bell’s four prior convictions for violent crimes.

They were for battery on Christmas Day 2005 and Sept. 2, 2006, and for criminal damage to property on Sept. 3 and July 25 of 2006.

(Hopefully, he was smiling when he was beating up these various people.)

Instead, CNN must push the charges of racism and Jim Crow.

But who are the real racists here? 

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 5th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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