November 21, 2007

Judge Backpedals, Opens Jena Trial to Public

UPDATE: Judge Mauffray has been pimp-slapped by another judge who ordered that the entire Mychal Bell hearing should be open to the public and the press. Click here for the full story.

Villagers, there was some positive news for those of us concerned about justice in the Jena Six trials that are still ongoing down in Louisiana. Judge J.P. Mauffray, the judge overseeing the trial of Mychal Bell, one of the teenage defendants in the racially charged Jena 6 case in Louisiana, reversed course and agreed to open Bell's upcoming juvenile trial to the public.

The lawsuit asserts that the judge'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.

"Judge Mauffray does acknowledge that [sections of the Louisiana Children's Code] permit or require adjudication, disposition and modification hearings in those specified cases to be public, and he intends to comply with applicable law," Mauffray's attorney, Donald Wilson, wrote in response to the lawsuit.

Bell, 17, is scheduled to go on trial Dec. 6 on charges of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy for his alleged part in an attack on a white student at Jena High School last December. Bell was initially tried and convicted of the charges as an adult, but an appellate court threw out the conviction, ruling that Bell should have been prosecuted as a juvenile.

Kudos to Howard Twitt (Chicago Tribune senior correspondent) for continuing to share his drumbeat on the Jena Six story.


iriegal said...

Thank you for continuing to update us on Jena6. It is important not to forget the fight in Jena and Nationwide for equality in our Just Us System.

Jena is about racial tolerance. Something that is still sadly missing in this country.

Villager said...

IrieGal - Racial tolerance is missing ... but, we must demonstrate it ourselves and we must shine the light when we see that it is not being shown, especially in the criminal justice system. Thank you for sharing your village voice with us!

Bruce Larson*Moore said...


Suspended upon the limbs and branches of society hangs a self destructive, taut line of inhuman power,

Bound within an illusion of glory and grace on the living tree of mankind,

Crossing a river of uncounted souls, holding on to the hope of a shared love without the fall of color, history nor gender,

Swinging upon the tree of humanity a fabricated innocence of denial, uneasily waiting, silently begging, desperately pleading for the open expression, healing discussion and outward, public display of the true sins hung upon swinging trees across the globe.

©Bruce Larson*Moore

Villager said...

Bruce - You have skillz! Thank you very much for sharing your creativity with us here in the Electronic Village. Your prose caused me to review a past post about lynching here in our village. Anyhow, I hope you will share your village voice with us often.