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Jena Six, Current case involving racism, injustice, and lots of angry people.
mei_tenshi
post Sep 21 2007, 04:45 PM
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cmChimera opened a thread on this today but due to various circumstances, that thread went awry. dry.gif

"Jena Six" refers specifically to a group of black teenagers in the town of Jena, Louisiana who were arrested and charged for crimes against a white teenager last year, stemming from an incident where the black students asked for permission to sit under a tree that was "traditionally" reserved for white students. The principal told them that they could sit wherever the wanted. The next day, three nooses were hung on the tree.

Then it got ugly. (The links I've listed below expands on how ugly it got.)

I heard about this case on National Public Radio (NPR) in July and was appalled by the reports of what happened. If you're not familiar with Jena 6 and are too lazy to Google it, this CNN article summarizes what happened up to yesterday's hearing of the last Jena 6 who was still behind bars:

Thousands 'march for justice' in Jena, court orders hearing on teen

The aftermath of the hearing:
Court rules 'Jena 6' defendant to stay behind bars

Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jena_6 (Take it with a grain of salt--it's Wiki, after all--but I like that they included the "pen" incident, which the other articles don't mention, I believe.)

And for those who prefer video reports:
Jena 6 CNN report

Various issues surrounding this case has risen since then, issues broader than "racism." Hence, why I think Jena Six deserves its own thread as opposed to being mushed in with the discussion in the thread on racism. Let's try to get some discussion going.


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cmChimera
post Sep 23 2007, 09:35 AM
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There have been some decidedly racist things going on, but I don't think that the six were arrested unjustly, nor should they just go free. Six people beat the .... out of one guy. That's a crime.
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Popogeejo
post Sep 23 2007, 10:28 AM
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QUOTE
I don't think that the six were arrested unjustly, nor should they just go free.

Yeah but charging them with attempted murder was just stupid. The guy they beat up was able to go to a high school event the very same day he was beaten.
Assault is the most that they should be charged with.


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mei_tenshi
post Sep 23 2007, 11:31 AM
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If they were given a fair trial and were found guilty, you're right, they shouldn't go free. But part of this 'fair trial' thing includes having a jury of your peers, and apparently, Mychal Bell's 'jury of peers' for the June trial was all white. Of course, chances of that happening is pretty high when LaSalle Parish is 85% white, but wouldn't it make sense to move the trial elsewhere? Maybe the case doesn't technically qualify for this procedure, but considering the circumstances, what are the chances that the Jena 6 would get an impartial jury of peers in their town, or even the parish?

Oh, and don't forget the juror who was a friend of Justin Baker's (the victim) father. That a friend of the victim's father is allowed to be on the jury is astounding in itself. For the sake of argument, let's give the court process the benefit of the doubt and assume that, because of the limited pool in Jena or even LaSalle Parish, where Jena (population: 3,000-3,500, numbers vary depending on your source) is the largest town, having someone somehow related to someone closely involved with the case (like the victim's father) is unavoidable. Let's also assume that there are people in LaSalle Parish who had not heard of the beating or the incidents that occurred in Jena throughout the year prior, or if they have, they haven't developed any preconcieved biases towards the people involved in the case. And while we're at it, let's also assume that the DA was merely having a bad day when he said that he can be the students' (assuming he wasn't directing the statement at the black students, but everyone at the assembly) best friend or worst enemy and that he can make their lives disappear with a stroke of a pen. Let's assume that this statement is not at all representative of the DA's personal views and that he'll approach the case in a fair and professional manner, like when he chose to charge the defendants as adults even though they were minors when the alleged beating occurred because of the degree of viciousness towards the victim. (Good thing Baker was still able to make it to the ring ceremony the next night, though. He would've been extremely disappointed.)

If all the above assumptions are actually true, then sure, there was nothing wrong with the handling of the case.


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cmChimera
post Sep 29 2007, 01:51 PM
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QUOTE
Yeah but charging them with attempted murder was just stupid. The guy they beat up was able to go to a high school event the very same day he was beaten.
Assault is the most that they should be charged with.
I believe the battery charges are just, after doing a little bit of research on the defining attributes of battery.
QUOTE
If they were given a fair trial and were found guilty, you're right, they shouldn't go free. But part of this 'fair trial' thing includes having a jury of your peers, and apparently, Mychal Bell's 'jury of peers' for the June trial was all white. Of course, chances of that happening is pretty high when LaSalle Parish is 85% white, but wouldn't it make sense to move the trial elsewhere?
That had nothing to do with jury selection. Blacks were called to jury duty and none of them showed up.....Ironic.

However I do agree that it is impossible to have an impartial jury right about now..... And to the rest of your statement....umm only one was a minor at the time. In Louisiana 17 is the age of legal adulthood.
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Popogeejo
post Sep 29 2007, 02:54 PM
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QUOTE
Blacks were called to jury duty and none of them showed up.....Ironic.

It's not like they knew which cases they were being called for.


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cmChimera
post Sep 30 2007, 10:08 AM
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QUOTE(Popogeejo @ Sep 29 2007, 04:54 PM) *
QUOTE
Blacks were called to jury duty and none of them showed up.....Ironic.

It's not like they knew which cases they were being called for.
That makes it less ironic?
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Popogeejo
post Sep 30 2007, 02:44 PM
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QUOTE(cmChimera @ Sep 30 2007, 06:08 PM) *
That makes it less ironic?

Well yeah. If they knew the jury for a case that was of massive interest to the back community and they didn't show up while still protesting about the case then that would be far more ironic. However, I don't think the irony of the situation is what this thread is about.


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cmChimera
post Oct 1 2007, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE(Popogeejo @ Sep 30 2007, 04:44 PM) *
QUOTE(cmChimera @ Sep 30 2007, 06:08 PM) *
That makes it less ironic?

Well yeah. If they knew the jury for a case that was of massive interest to the back community and they didn't show up while still protesting about the case then that would be far more ironic. However, I don't think the irony of the situation is what this thread is about.
I think it's ironic either way but whatever. I don't think any of them should go free, I believe they deserve punishment. I do agree that they should be given a fair trial. I think the school board should be investigated for being completely retarded. I also think it's kinda dumb to be like it was an innocent prank for hanging nooses, or they didn't know what kind of reaction it wold get. The three that hung nooses may not be actually rcist but they knew damn well what they were doing and should have been expelled.
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Roy the Flame Al...
post Oct 2 2007, 11:34 AM
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Okay first your missing parts of the story..the whole reason the group of black kids attacked the white studetn was because of the fact after the tree incident later in twon the same white kid and his friends pulled a gun on one of the black kids threating him...so he went and got his friedn for some street justice....neither side was right but you dont put a child away for murder..when you let the other party go with a slap on the wrist. The white sudent should have been charged with felony assult carrying an illegal fire arm and under the patriot act making terrorist threats...and if anyone wants to argue the law with me go right ahead..cause i'm a fisrt year law student so i think i know what im talkign about.


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cmChimera
post Oct 2 2007, 02:58 PM
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QUOTE(Roy the Flame Alchemist 71 @ Oct 2 2007, 01:34 PM) *
Okay first your missing parts of the story..the whole reason the group of black kids attacked the white studetn was because of the fact after the tree incident later in twon the same white kid and his friends pulled a gun on one of the black kids threating him...so he went and got his friedn for some street justice....neither side was right but you dont put a child away for murder..when you let the other party go with a slap on the wrist. The white sudent should have been charged with felony assult carrying an illegal fire arm and under the patriot act making terrorist threats...and if anyone wants to argue the law with me go right ahead..cause i'm a fisrt year law student so i think i know what im talkign about.

Yet, the charge was attempted murder, and the convenience store incident that yu speak of involved one white male and not a group. On the same subject the white student claims that the black group charged at him. Also, the kid who got jumped, Justin Barker, was not one of the kids who hung nooses nor the kid who pulled a gun out......So first year law student, you should get practice getting your facts straight. Justin Barker is a victim, end of story.
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asunder
post Oct 2 2007, 03:26 PM
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You're a first year law student, which really means that you're not that much more qualified than the rest of us. When you've passed your bar exam, then we can validate that you know what you're talking about.

I'm not sure if expulsion would have been a better solution. Sure the punishment would be harsher. But you'd still have all this racial tension.

Again Hindsight is 20/20, I would have suggested that the kids who were responsible for the nooses address the entire school in a public apology (and be suspended). If they didn't want to apologize....explusion. Not sure how effective this sort of public humiliation would be, but something needed to be done to diffuse the situation and/or unite the community. Something more than cutting down the tree...


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cmChimera
post Oct 2 2007, 10:51 PM
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Expulsion would have been great....And wasn't seen in hindsight. The principal recommended them for expulsion, but the school board denied it. I don't really think the public apology would even matter.
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