May 30, 2008
Jena 6 Want Judge Mauffray Removed From Their Case
Drumbeats from ColorOfChange tell us that we may have some news flowing from the Jena, LA in the coming days. Citing powerful evidence of Judge J.P. Mauffray Jr.'s bias against them, five of the African American youth known as the Jena 6 went back in court seeking to remove Mauffray from their cases. You may recall that the sixth member of Jena 6, Mychal Bell, took an 18-month sentence as part of a plea-agreement.
Legal documents filed in the proceedings reveal Judge Mauffray's personal vendetta against the Jena 6. Among other incidents, Mauffray characterized the young men as violent trouble-makers and confessed his intent to incarcerate one of the youth—regardless of the strength of the evidence. Given Mauffray's documented inability to preside over a fair trial for these youth, their legal teams have requested that a new judge be appointed to handle all Jena 6 related proceedings.
"Judge Mauffray is the man at the center of Jena's broken justice system and now he is forced to justify his bias in a court of law with the entire nation watching," said James Rucker, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org, the 400,000 member group that has advocated on behalf of the Jena 6. "These proceedings are an opportunity to redeem Louisiana's justice system in the eyes of the nation and provide the Jena 6 with their constitutional right to a fair trial."
On May 30, Judge Thomas Yeager ruled to take evidence offered by the Jena 6 legal teams under advisement, putting off a final decision on the motion to recuse Judge Mauffray until July 18, 2008. In the interim, lawyers for the young men have until July 4 to provide additional information to support their case. After that, DA Reed Walters, representing Mauffray on behalf of the state of Louisiana, has two weeks to respond to the new information before Judge Yeager offers his final ruling.
If Mauffray is recused by Judge Yaeger it means a chance at a fair trial and an indictment for biased judges (and District Attorneys) everywhere.
Villagers, we haven't talked about Jena 6 on this blog for awhile. What are your current thoughts on the Jena 6 today?