Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Black Law Students => Topic started by: Smokey on September 20, 2007, 09:56:22 AM

Title: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Smokey on September 20, 2007, 09:56:22 AM
So I thought I'd give my 2 cents on the Jena 6.  Probably discussed here before, but whatev.

I definitely have problems with the way these boys were treated by the legal system... tried by an all-white jury, tried as adults, tried for attempted murder/conspiracy when the only "weapons" they had were tennis shoes... that isn't right and it's obviously an injustice.  I believe some of the initial charges against certain boys were dropped, such as the attempted murder.  But the amount of jail time they're facing obviously isn't commensurate to what they did.

However it really bothers me how *certain* black people are handling this incident.  Everyone seems to be rallying around these boys as though they're heros (I believe I've actually heard this word used before).

These boys, though victims of the criminal justice system, aren't heros.  There's nothing laudable about beating someone until they're unconscious, especially when you're in a group of six friends and you're attacking someone who's alone.

I understand the racial tensions, the nooses, that the kid who was beaten was using racial slurs and in general all the bad stuff the white residents of the town did to the black ones, but violence is never the appropriate response.  And from what I understand, it wasn't a fight gone awry, they really just jumped him.

Like I said, the outcry over this case is deserved, but I think people should save the rally cries for people who really deserve it... Emmitt Till, Abner Louima, etc.  While I understand their plight, I don't think these guys are wonderful people who deserve our reverence.

And while the proceedings against them were a joke, as I said, they did beat a guy until he was knocked out.  Which deserves significant punishment IMO if not the exaggerated sentences that they're facing.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 20, 2007, 10:23:11 AM
When I turned on CNN it actually warmed my heart to see this many people marching this morning.

I think it is extremely important to distinguish that the purpose of the march is to respond to injustice in the criminal justice system perpetrated by the DA in this case, and to call of "equal justice" in this case. 

I agree with you and I think Tyler Perry said it best when they interviewed him this morning - he said "we're all out here today to ask that these teenagers be given a fair shake.  That is all."

There are some accounts of the incident that allege that some of the "Jena 6" were actually not involved in the beating of the white victim but were incorrectly accused of participating. At this point, who knows.  Those are matters of fact to be determined by a jury.

What we do know at this point is that there is certainly an undenyable racial inference raised by the events surrounding this case.  Furthermore, it didn't help matters much when the DA tried to make a case out of a tennis shoe being a "deadly weapon."  I haven't researched all of the criminal case law in Louisiana but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that such an argument is just a little bit of a stretch.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Smokey on September 20, 2007, 10:46:23 AM
When I turned on CNN it actually warmed my heart to see this many people marching this morning.

I think it is extremely important to distinguish that the purpose of the march is to respond to injustice in the criminal justice system perpetrated by the DA in this case, and to call of "equal justice" in this case. 

I agree with you and I think Tyler Perry said it best when they interviewed him this morning - he said "we're all out here today to ask that these teenagers be given a fair shake.  That is all."

There are some accounts of the incident that allege that some of the "Jena 6" were actually not involved in the beating of the white victim but were incorrectly accused of participating. At this point, who knows.  Those are matters of fact to be determined by a jury.

What we do know at this point is that there is certainly an undenyable racial inference raised by the events surrounding this case.  Furthermore, it didn't help matters much when the DA tried to make a case out of a tennis shoe being a "deadly weapon."  I haven't researched all of the criminal case law in Louisiana but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that such an argument is just a little bit of a stretch.


I do agree that the crimes with which the boys were charged are unfair, as were the criminal proceedings themselves.

But what I don't like is the whole cult of personality that has developed around these boys.  As I said, it's not heroic to beat someone because they used racial slurs.  Rather than accomplishing what you want it to, it just perpetuates that image of black people as animals who can only express themselves through violence.

And I'm sure most people don't agree with this, but some of the people who I've heard discuss it seem to think that what the Jena 6 did was ok (in light of what the white kid was saying) and that they should completely escape punishment.  While the current charges are too harsh they deserve *some* punishment  N one seems to mention this.

And I have the odd suspicion that if the situation were reversed  and a black kid was beaten by a mob of whites for using anti-white slurs, people would want justice as well.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Smokey on September 20, 2007, 10:53:55 AM
Spencer Overton,at Black Prof, argues at least one of the Jena 6 is definitely a hero.  I tend to agree:

"Make no mistake about it though Mychal Bell is a hero.  By most accounts, Mr. Bell should have taken a plea agreement at the time of his trial.  “A plea bargain would have put him back on the streets in a matter of months” (ISR interview with Alan Bean).  He was an emerging High School football star with interest from various college programs.    But Bell opted to be a soldier in the quagmire of the culture wars.  And on this front Bell risked his football career in order to assert his innocence and to highlight the injustices surrounding the racially charged incidents in Jena, LA.  In this sense he is more Jim Brown than (insert your favorite running back here).  He is more like Bill Russell than Shaq; and he is more Ali than Tyson.  He is an athlete who understands that the playing field is often times an extension or reflection of the politics that operate in the public sphere.  Moreover, Mr. Bell understood that whatever his football career might have been or might still become, he couldn’t submit to a ‘justice’ system that required him to co-sign racial injustice with a circumstantially coerced guilty plea.   Bell’s courage set the stage for leaders and activists to fully engage the complex racial conundrum that Jena, LA has become.  His time spent in jail, for a crime that this recent overturning suggests he could not have committed, is part of the heavy lifting required to confront the problems of race and class in our selectively aggressive criminal justice system.  A sad but corollary fact of Bell’s stand is that it unveils the kind of legal environment (racialized and unforgiving) within which too many young black men must make similar decisions about life, innocence, and justice."




OK I don't really know anything about scholarship requirements, but what would this guy's college chances have been like if he'd plead guilty to a violent crime? Schools want to know if you've had DUIs, much less serious stuff like this.  I think he was kinda up the creek w/o a paddle in either case.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 20, 2007, 11:01:39 AM
Much like with the Genarlow Wilson case - the punishment has to fit the crime.  I definitely don't agree that those who beat the white kid should be set free with no punishment.  That is, afterall, a battery.  However, given the specific intent needed, it is a far cry from attempted murder.

Moreover, the methodology used by the DA in this case smacks of bias.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 20, 2007, 11:18:47 AM
tag
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: A. on September 22, 2007, 01:52:59 PM
 Black and white becomes gray in La. town

By TODD LEWAN, AP National Writer2 hours, 14 minutes ago

It's got all the elements of a Delta blues ballad from the days of Jim Crow: hangman's nooses dangling from a shade tree; a mysterious fire in the night; swift deliberations by a condemning, all-white jury.

And drawn by this story, which evokes the worst of a nightmarish past, they came by the thousands this past week to Jena, La. — to demand justice, to show strength, to beat back the forces of racism as did their parents and grandparents.

But there are many in Jena who say the tale of the "Jena Six" — the black teenagers who were charged with attempted murder and conspiracy for attacking a white classmate at Jena High School last December — is not as simple as all that.

Black and white, they say that in its repeated retelling — enhanced by omissions and alterations of fact — the story has taken on a life of its own. It has transformed a school-yard stomping into an international cause celebre, and those accused of participating in it into what one major Southern daily came to describe as "latter-day Scottsboro Boys."

And they say that while their town's race relations are not unblemished, this is not the cauldron of bigotry that has been depicted.

To Ben Reid, 61, who set down roots in Jena in 1957 and lived here throughout the civil rights era, "this whole thing ain't no downright, racial affair."

Reid, who is black, presently serves on the LaSalle Parish council. He reads the papers. He hears the talk outside of church on Sundays about how the Jena Six business is dividing his hometown down racial lines.

He doesn't buy it.

"You have good people here and bad people here, on both sides. This thing has been blown out of proportion. What we ought to do is sit down and talk this thing out, 'cause once all is said and done and you media folks leave, we're the ones who're going to have to live here."

Clearly, something bad occurred in Jena, population 2,971, an old sawmill town in LaSalle Parish that, once upon a time, was Ku Klux Klan country. And, as most white and black residents readily agree, there is no good reason for embracing what unfolded here.

But what happened, exactly?

The story goes that a year ago, a black student asked at an assembly if he could sit in the shade of a live oak, which, the story goes, was labeled "the white tree" because only white students hung out there. The next day, three nooses dangled from the oak — code for "KKK" — the handiwork of three white students, who were suspended for just three days.

Much of that is disputed. What happened next is not: Two months later, an arsonist torched a wing of Jena High School. (The case remains unsolved.) Two fights between blacks and whites roiled the town that weekend, culminating in a school-yard brawl on Dec. 4 that led the district attorney to charge the Jena Six with attempted murder. The lethal weapon he cited to justify the charge: the boys' sneakers.

In July, the first to be tried, Mychal Bell, was convicted after two hours of deliberations by an all-white jury on reduced charges of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit it.

(It was widely reported that Bell, now 17, was an honor student with no prior criminal record. Although he had a high grade-point average, he was, in fact, on probation for at least two counts of battery and a count of criminal damage to property. In any event, his conviction was overturned because an appeals court ruled he should not have been tried as an adult.)

There is, however, a more nuanced rendition of events — one that can be found in court testimony, in interviews with teachers, officials and students at Jena High, and in public statements from a U.S. attorney who reviewed the case for possible federal intervention.

Consider:

_The so-called "white tree" at Jena High, often reported to be the domain of only white students, was nothing of the sort, according to teachers and school administrators; students of all races, they say, congregated under it at one time or another.

_Two nooses — not three — were found dangling from the tree. Beyond being offensive to blacks, the nooses were cut down because black and white students "were playing with them, pulling on them, jump-swinging from them, and putting their heads through them," according to a black teacher who witnessed the scene.

_There was no connection between the September noose incident and December attack, according to Donald Washington, an attorney for the U.S. Justice Department in western Louisiana, who investigated claims that these events might be race-related hate crimes.

_The three youths accused of hanging the nooses were not suspended for just three days — they were isolated at an alternative school for about a month, and then given an in-school suspension for two weeks.

_The six-member jury that convicted Bell was, indeed, all white. However, only one in 10 people in LaSalle Parish is African American, and though black residents were selected randomly by computer and summoned for jury selection, none showed up.

About 225 miles and a world apart from racially mixed New Orleans, Jena (pronounced JEE-nuh) is a throwback.

Here, one refers to elders as "Sir," and "Ma'am." Children still pull catfish from creeks; couples court at Jena Giants football games; families rope goats and calves at weekend rodeos.

In a place where per capita income is $13,761, there aren't any swank, French restaurants, but rather, family eateries such as the Burger Barn, Ginny's and Maw & Paw's. Most of Jena's 14-odd churches stage Easter egg hunts. On summer afternoons, sweet tea and lemonade on a neighbor's front porch are obligatory.

And there are endearing figures, like the designated town sweeper who mountain bikes around town with a wagon full of rakes, brooms, dustpans and cleaning fluids, stopping only to sweep shopowners' parking lots or to distribute complimentary bubble gum to grade schoolers.

Not all vestiges of the past are beloved, or quaint, of course.

There are no black lawyers, no black doctors and one black employee in the town's half-dozen banks. (The employee is male, an accountant who works out of public view.)

Economics play a role in this; with the closure of the sawmills in the '50s, the town now relies heavily on the exploitation of oil and natural gas, offshore. There are relatively few good-paying jobs in what is gradually becoming a retirement community, and some point out that African Americans with higher educations tend to leave the parish.

"To a certain extent, that's true," says Anthony Jackson, one of Jena High's two black teachers. "But I know some people who tried to stay here and couldn't get good jobs. There was, for instance, a gentleman who graduated as a certified biology teacher, but he left because he didn't want to deal with what's going on here."
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: A. on September 22, 2007, 01:53:21 PM
Cleveland Riser, 75, who began working in Jena as a teacher and then rose to become an assistant superintendent of schools in LaSalle Parish, says blacks have long had trouble getting ahead in Jena.

"In my experience, the opportunity for advancing in my profession was denied, in my opinion, because I was black — not because I was unprepared professionally, or because of my performance."

Here and across the "crossroads" of Louisiana, there are Klan supporters, to be sure; David Duke, the former KKK Grand Wizard, carried LaSalle Parish in his 1991 run for state governor. And Jacqueline Hatcher, a 59-year-old African American, remembers when, as a ninth grader in 1962, she saw a large cross burning out front of the all-black Good Pine High School.

"We heard the Klan was meeting in the woods because there was going to be desegregation in the schools and they didn't want that," says Hatcher. Still, no one recalls seeing any public lynchings or whites in robes and masks for a half century.

"If I could take you back to 60 years ago, and then fast forward to today, you'd have to say we've come a long way," says Billy Wayne Fowler, a white school-board member who is one of the few leaders with the school administration or local law enforcement who still talks to reporters.

Most townsfolk, he says, interpreted the events of last year pretty much the same way — that a small minority of troublemakers, both black and white, got out of hand, and that the responses from authorities weren't always on the mark.

The boys who hung the nooses "probably should have been expelled," Fowler says, and the murder charges brought against the black teenagers were "too harsh, too severe."

Tommy Farris, 27, an oil driller, and his wife, Nikki, 29, a registered nurse, concur — to a point. "Those boys should have expelled," says Nikki, who is white. "It was no innocent prank. I think those boys knew what they were starting by hanging those nooses from a tree."

Tommy, who is black, agrees. But free the Jena Six?

"That's not going to happen," he says, adding that he thinks the black teenagers are being given a fair chance to defend themselves against the charges.

Johnny Wilkinson, 44, a platform officer on an oil rig, and his wife, Karen, a 47-year-old director of nurses at the local hospital, are, like many couples in town, wrestling with that question of fairness.

The noose hanging was wrong, say the Wilkinsons, who are white, and the boys who did it should have been more severely punished.

Still, "They knocked that boy out cold and were stomping on him," Johnny says. "They might have killed him. I believe punishment would have been measured the same way if it had been the opposite way around and six whites had attacked a black kid."

(The teenager who was beaten, Justin Barker, 17, was knocked out but walked out of a hospital after two hours of treatment for a concussion and an eye that was swollen shut. He attended a school ring ceremony later that night.)

Adds Karen: "A sentence of 15 years is fair, but I do think they should be eligible for parole. Who are we to say they can't be members of society?"

But to Braxter Hatcher, 62, a janitor at Jena High for 18 years, such punishment would be excessive, and would only serve to reinforce suspicions in the black community that the worst kind of "Deep South justice" still exists here.

"They haven't always been fair in the courthouse with us," says Hatcher, who is black. "If you're black, they go overboard sometimes. I think this was just a fight between boys. I don't think it was attempted murder."

A number of other blacks — and whites — have raised similar questions about the Jena Six episode, particularly the manner in which authorities handled a series of racially charged incidents leading up to it.

Why, they ask, wasn't the noose incident ever reported to police? (A report might have triggered a hate-crime investigation, although federal authorities rarely go after juveniles in such cases.) And when whites and blacks tangled several times before the Jena Six episode, why did authorities charge the whites with misdemeanors — or not at all — while charging blacks with felonies?

Reed Walters, the LaSalle Parish district attorney who is prosecuting the cases of the Jena Six, insisted the case "is not and never has been about race. It is about finding justice for an innocent victim and holding people accountable for their actions."

Huey Crockett, 50, lives with his wife, Carla, 45, in a heavily wooded, predominantly black district just beyond Jena's limits, an area known as "The Country." The Crocketts, who are black, have complained to police that Bell and other youngsters were causing trouble in their neighborhood — scratching cars with keys, breaking the windows of parked cars, spraying property with paint.

The authorities, Crockett says, were always slow to respond.

"But as soon as he had a run-in with a white boy, they came down on him like a hammer. That's not right. If I call the police for an incident here, it may take them an hour, an hour and half to get out here. But they'll be right out in an instant if a white person calls them."

What also rankles African Americans in Jena, says Riser, the former school superintendent, is that whites charged with the same crimes as blacks receive more lenient punishment. "What this boils down to is: Why is there a double standard?"

On a road into town, a brick portal welcomes visitors to Jena, touting it as "A Nice Place to Call Home." But when the national spotlight goes away, will it be that nice place?

A week ago, Eddie Thompson, a white pastor at the Sanctuary Family Worship Center, would have said no. But on Wednesday, as thousands of demonstrators prepared to pour into tiny Jena, religious leaders held a unified church service, attended by blacks and whites.

"We prayed for one another, prayed for all of the boys involved in this," Thompson says. "We're not used to the glare, but something positive is going on here. I believe that we're maybe listening to our neighbors better, when we didn't listen before."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070922/ap_on_re_us/a_place_called_jena
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: credo on September 22, 2007, 03:27:33 PM
All the other sketchy aspects aside, I keep hearing stuff form people like  "OMGBAKEDPOTATO SO UNFAIR THE DA CHARGED THEM WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER BECUASE THEY WORE SHOES WHEN THEY WERE STOMPING THAT DUDE!!!"

Just to be clear they were charged with attempted second degree murder for which you dont need to employ a weapon.  Bell was ultimately tried on an aggravated second-degree battery charge and a conspiracy charge.

The aggravated second degree battery statute does NOT require the use of a DEADLY weapon as people are constantly claiming. It requires use of a DANGEROUS weapon.  Which is defined: (3) "Dangerous weapon" includes any gas, liquid or other substance or instrumentality, which, in the manner used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

The key here being "instrumentality, which, in the manner used, is... likely to produce... great bodily harm."

You stomp some prostrate kid with a shoe on and yes that shoe becomes a dangerous weapon for the purpose of this statute.  Its not hard to break a bone by punting some guy in the ribs with a basketball shoe on, especially if the guy doin the kikcing is a star fullback/linebacker.  It all hinges on how the shoe was used, if they just nudged him with their foot then thats not a manner of use likely to produce great bodily harm but there seems to have been evidence they were kicking him with some force.  Under LA law that qualifies as aggravated battery.  Its not some wild legal theory cooked up by the DA, Judge, and Jury.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on September 22, 2007, 05:49:42 PM
If 6 white boys jumped and beat the hell out of a black kid for whatever reason and the DA didn't give the harshest penalty possible, everyone would be screaming RACISM!

The Jena 6 are alleged to have lynched a kid. That's different from a group of white kids fighting with a group of black kids. It should be noted that the first incident produced only charges against a White kid. None of the blacks involved in the first fight were charged.

So, I don't understand what the equal justice claim is. Being a part of a group and beating one individual is much different that a group fighting against a group or a single person fighting a single person.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on September 22, 2007, 10:50:58 PM
LYNCHING: Lynching in the second degree. Any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person and from which death does not result shall constitute the crime of lynching in the seconddegree and shall be a felony.

MOB: A “mob” is defined for the purpose of this article as the assemblage of two or more persons,without color or authority of law, for the premeditated purpose and with the premeditated intent ofcommitting an act of violence upon the person of another.

----------

eh this is at least in SC. I don't know Louisiana law well enough to say.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 22, 2007, 11:05:45 PM
LYNCHING: Lynching in the second degree. Any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person and from which death does not result shall constitute the crime of lynching in the seconddegree and shall be a felony.

MOB: A “mob” is defined for the purpose of this article as the assemblage of two or more persons,without color or authority of law, for the premeditated purpose and with the premeditated intent ofcommitting an act of violence upon the person of another.

----------

eh this is at least in SC. I don't know Louisiana law well enough to say.

Galt, I know that southern DAs are fond of using lynching laws against groups of black boys and men who are accused of crimes, but I'm kind of surprised to see you adopting this usage.  Lynching has a particular historical connotation, one which is perverse to apply to a situation like this, no matter the extent of the Jena 6's wrongdoing.  Assault and battery seem like the appropriate charges.  Attempted murder was not since there was absolutely no indication of specific intent to kill.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on September 23, 2007, 08:55:03 AM
LYNCHING: Lynching in the second degree. Any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person and from which death does not result shall constitute the crime of lynching in the seconddegree and shall be a felony.

MOB: A “mob” is defined for the purpose of this article as the assemblage of two or more persons,without color or authority of law, for the premeditated purpose and with the premeditated intent ofcommitting an act of violence upon the person of another.

----------

eh this is at least in SC. I don't know Louisiana law well enough to say.

Galt, I know that southern DAs are fond of using lynching laws against groups of black boys and men who are accused of crimes, but I'm kind of surprised to see you adopting this usage.  Lynching has a particular historical connotation, one which is perverse to apply to a situation like this, no matter the extent of the Jena 6's wrongdoing.  Assault and battery seem like the appropriate charges.  Attempted murder was not since there was absolutely no indication of specific intent to kill.

I agree with you insofar as the attempted murder charges seemed like a perversion of justice. Still, that's why we have checks and balances. The prosecutor abused his discretion and the appeals court in Louisiana ruled that Bell should be tried as a juvenile well before any of the protesters showed up this past week. Is that not justice??

I'm not condoning what the prosecutor in this case did or the way the authorities handled the situation. I'm just inclined to believe that group violence is dangerous and I'm not particularly sympathetic to the way the Jena 6 handled the situation.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on September 23, 2007, 10:38:23 AM
BUT A FACEBOOK GROUP TOLD ME TO FREE THE JENA SIX!!

Still trolling, TTT?

Love the name change, by the way.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 23, 2007, 02:03:03 PM
All the other sketchy aspects aside, I keep hearing stuff form people like  "OMGBAKEDPOTATO SO UNFAIR THE DA CHARGED THEM WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER BECUASE THEY WORE SHOES WHEN THEY WERE STOMPING THAT DUDE!!!"

Just to be clear they were charged with attempted second degree murder for which you dont need to employ a weapon.  Bell was ultimately tried on an aggravated second-degree battery charge and a conspiracy charge.

The aggravated second degree battery statute does NOT require the use of a DEADLY weapon as people are constantly claiming. It requires use of a DANGEROUS weapon.  Which is defined: (3) "Dangerous weapon" includes any gas, liquid or other substance or instrumentality, which, in the manner used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

The key here being "instrumentality, which, in the manner used, is... likely to produce... great bodily harm."

You stomp some prostrate kid with a shoe on and yes that shoe becomes a dangerous weapon for the purpose of this statute.  Its not hard to break a bone by punting some guy in the ribs with a basketball shoe on, especially if the guy doin the kikcing is a star fullback/linebacker.  It all hinges on how the shoe was used, if they just nudged him with their foot then thats not a manner of use likely to produce great bodily harm but there seems to have been evidence they were kicking him with some force.  Under LA law that qualifies as aggravated battery.  Its not some wild legal theory cooked up by the DA, Judge, and Jury.


That still doesn't justify, legally speaking, the initial Attempted 2nd Degree Murder charge from the DA.  As Miss P and Galt pointed out, "Attempted" murder is a specific intent crime.  Meaning, the conscious object or goal of kicking the kid could not merely have been just to to hurt the guy.  That would only be a Battery, as you described above. (I'm still not conceding the Sneakers as "dangerous weapons" yet, but we can come back to that later) In order for attempted murder to even be a remotely somewhat quasi reasonble charge in this case, the DA would have needed to be able to point to evidence showing that Bell specifically intended to KILL the guy before the fight even took place.  Murder would have had to be the goal from the outset.  The facts don't even come close to supporting that charge here.  This is nothing more than your average school yard fight between high school students mixed in with some racial overtones.  Attempted murder it is not. 

I submit that the facts here demonstrate that the DA has allowed racial bias to color his judgment as an officer of the court and as an agent of the state.  Just like former DA Mike Nifong in the Duke Lacrosse Team prosecution, Reed Walters has abused his discretion as a prosecutor here (in addition to violating the Rules of Professional Conduct for "the pen" incident) and, accordingly, needs to be stripped of his license to practice law. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 02:35:32 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't prosecutors charge people with a much more serious crime than they actually committed all the time in order to produce a plea bargain at a lesser charge?

Yes, and doing so is an abuse of discretion. 

As for the rest, the opinions of a few demagogues about a separate case aren't very relevant, but no, I don't believe Jackson and Sharpton were pressing for lynching or attempted murder charges against the Duke LaX team, though they would have been equally (perhaps more) appropriate in that instance based on the information that was publicly available, regardless of the ultimate outcome.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 23, 2007, 02:43:42 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't prosecutors charge people with a much more serious crime than they actually committed all the time in order to produce a plea bargain at a lesser charge?



No that is incorrect. 

Rule 3.8 Special Responsibilities Of A Prosecutor
The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;


Rule 8.4 Misconduct
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: A. on September 23, 2007, 02:56:58 PM
But his general gist is correct: Prosecutors often bring more serious charges, knowing that they will later try to plead the the defendant to a less serious crime.  There is a difference between bringing unsupported charges and bringing the most severe supported charges.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 02:59:58 PM
But his general gist is correct: Prosecutors often bring more serious charges, knowing that they will later try to plead the the defendant to a less serious crime.  There is a difference between bringing unsupported charges and bringing the most severe supported charges.

Yes.  And since the attempted murder and conspiracy to attempt murder charges were not supported, they were (a) an abuse of discretion and (b) not merely a par-for-the-course plea-bargaining tactic.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on September 23, 2007, 03:08:53 PM
But his general gist is correct: Prosecutors often bring more serious charges, knowing that they will later try to plead the the defendant to a less serious crime.  There is a difference between bringing unsupported charges and bringing the most severe supported charges.

Yes.  And since the attempted murder and conspiracy to attempt murder charges were not supported, they were (a) an abuse of discretion and (b) not merely a par-for-the-course plea-bargaining tactic.

I wonder if it is such an abuse that it is a violation of the fifth amendment and seen as a non-voluntary confession (the plea) especially in a town like Jena where a Jury is likely to convict based on circumstances other than the elements of the crime.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 23, 2007, 03:15:06 PM
But his general gist is correct: Prosecutors often bring more serious charges, knowing that they will later try to plead the the defendant to a less serious crime.  There is a difference between bringing unsupported charges and bringing the most severe supported charges.

If his stentence means that prosecutors can bring basicaly whatever they want in order to plead the charges down at a later time, then his general gist is incorrect.   I agree that Prosecutors bring the most severe charges possible all the time in order to plead them down later - key word being "possible."  Anything unsupported by probable cause is not a possible charge that a prosecutor can bring at all. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: A. on September 23, 2007, 03:49:03 PM
But his general gist is correct: Prosecutors often bring more serious charges, knowing that they will later try to plead the the defendant to a less serious crime.  There is a difference between bringing unsupported charges and bringing the most severe supported charges.

If his stentence means that prosecutors can bring basicaly whatever they want in order to plead the charges down at a later time, then his general gist is incorrect.   I agree that Prosecutors bring the most severe charges possible all the time in order to plead them down later - key word being "possible."  Anything unsupported by probable cause is not a possible charge that a prosecutor can bring at all. 

Of course, but my rule of interpretation for n00b posts is, given two conflicting and equally plausible meanings, to construe them in a way to make the author at least partially correct.  But I realize that strict textualists such as yourself aren't so merciful ;)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on September 23, 2007, 03:56:53 PM
But his general gist is correct: Prosecutors often bring more serious charges, knowing that they will later try to plead the the defendant to a less serious crime.  There is a difference between bringing unsupported charges and bringing the most severe supported charges.

If his stentence means that prosecutors can bring basicaly whatever they want in order to plead the charges down at a later time, then his general gist is incorrect.   I agree that Prosecutors bring the most severe charges possible all the time in order to plead them down later - key word being "possible."  Anything unsupported by probable cause is not a possible charge that a prosecutor can bring at all. 

Of course, but my rule of interpretation for n00b posts is, given two conflicting and equally plausible meanings, to construe them in a way to make the author at least partially correct.  But I realize that strict textualists such as yourself aren't so merciful ;)

LOL u stoopid.

I tried to see the other side but a shoe?  I dont see how anyone can make an argument for that.  Just sounds so ridiculous.   
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on September 23, 2007, 04:07:07 PM
But his general gist is correct: Prosecutors often bring more serious charges, knowing that they will later try to plead the the defendant to a less serious crime.  There is a difference between bringing unsupported charges and bringing the most severe supported charges.

If his stentence means that prosecutors can bring basicaly whatever they want in order to plead the charges down at a later time, then his general gist is incorrect.   I agree that Prosecutors bring the most severe charges possible all the time in order to plead them down later - key word being "possible."  Anything unsupported by probable cause is not a possible charge that a prosecutor can bring at all. 

Of course, but my rule of interpretation for n00b posts is, given two conflicting and equally plausible meanings, to construe them in a way to make the author at least partially correct.  But I realize that strict textualists such as yourself aren't so merciful ;)

I'm the n00b poster? 

 ???

I wasn't saying it was right for prosecutors to bring especially harsh charges in order to induce a plea to a lower charge--just that they do it all the time.  And if they do it all the time, then this hardly needs to be called an extraordinary case of a racist prosecutor.  He could have simply been doing what prosecutors do all over the country, except here there was racial tension in the backdrop.   

Misconduct doesn't necessarily have to be "extraordinary" or once in a blue moon which seems to be the context in which youre  using it.  Misconduct can be a step or a giant leap over the line.  Here, GIANT LEAP.   Granted, prosecutors plead down but the charges are still in the realm of possibility & not totally "out there" like this one.     
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 04:20:32 PM
Of course, but my rule of interpretation for n00b posts is, given two conflicting and equally plausible meanings, to construe them in a way to make the author at least partially correct.  But I realize that strict textualists such as yourself aren't so merciful ;)

lol, you need to learn to discern between n00bs and d-dubbers.

I wasn't saying it was right for prosecutors to bring especially harsh charges in order to induce a plea to a lower charge--just that they do it all the time.  And if they do it all the time, then this hardly needs to be called an extraordinary case of a racist prosecutor.  He could have simply been doing what prosecutors do all over the country, except here there was racial tension in the backdrop.   

As Alci and Sands have rather painstakingly pointed out, there is a difference between bringing the harshest possible charges supported by probable cause and completely unsupported charges.  Unsupported charges are an unethical abuse of discretion (though I don't think the 5th Am. helps much under Galt's or any other theory). 

I imagine there's a good deal of disagreement in this thread about whether, as an empirical matter, prosecutors routinely abuse their discretion in this way.  I would argue that they do, and in this case it was racially motivated.  Moreover, the fact that an abuse is commonplace doesn't make it any less distressing to me.  The Jena 6 protesters are doing a real disservice if their message is primarily that this case is extraordinary.  It's not.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: A. on September 23, 2007, 04:24:47 PM
Of course, but my rule of interpretation for n00b posts is, given two conflicting and equally plausible meanings, to construe them in a way to make the author at least partially correct.  But I realize that strict textualists such as yourself aren't so merciful ;)

lol, you need to learn to discern between n00bs and d-dubbers.

What's d-dubbing?

Quote
I imagine there's a good deal of disagreement in this thread about whether, as an empirical matter, prosecutors routinely abuse their discretion in this way. 

I'm probably with you.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 04:28:29 PM
What's d-dubbing?

Delete-whoring.  Have you noticed Gengis'* new, slender postcount?


*Gengis is like Jesus, no?  This is why this rule is so hard to follow.  Also, did you see that On Language had a thing about apostrophes today?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: aerynn on September 23, 2007, 04:33:05 PM
In my notes from first semester, 2nd degree murder is defined as killing with "implied malice or gross recklessness." 6 people stomping on someone who is lying prostrate on the ground could support a finding of implied malice or gross recklessness for the safety of the person they were kicking.  Given that the victim sustained a concussion, it is probably partly luck that they didn't break his neck or cause him some brain injury. 

I am not saying that the prosecutor was correct in this case or that justice is served.  I really don't think anyone in this whole story is a hero or in the right as far as I've heard.  But I do think attempted 2nd degree murder is at least supportable from an ethics standpoint.  I have read cases where attempted murder has to be supported by intent to kill, not just attempt to cause grievous bodily harm, but the prosecutor could argue that although they began by intending to just hurt the kid, as they kicked him while he was lying unconscious on the ground they formed an intent to kill him and by continuing to kick, they acted on that intent.

I can also see the argument for shoes as being an aggravating factor.  If they were kicking him in flip flops or something, they would have injured their feet before doing the victim serious mortal injury.  Not so if they are wearing even slightly protective footwear.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: A. on September 23, 2007, 04:34:04 PM
What's d-dubbing?

Delete-whoring.  Have you noticed Gengis'* new, slender postcount?


*Gengis is like Jesus, no?  This is why this rule is so hard to follow.  Also, did you see that On Language had a thing about apostrophes today?

Ahh OK.

See, I don't believe that the S&W rule really makes sense either.  I say all or nothing, and am now a fan of all.  I would have said Gengis's (or, even more simply, wumpy's).  What's On Language?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 04:42:04 PM
What's On Language?

Safire's column in the Times Magazine.  It seemed like something that would float your boat.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 04:52:40 PM
In my notes from first semester, 2nd degree murder is defined as killing with "implied malice or gross recklessness." 6 people stomping on someone who is lying prostrate on the ground could support a finding of implied malice or gross recklessness for the safety of the person they were kicking.  Given that the victim sustained a concussion, it is probably partly luck that they didn't break his neck or cause him some brain injury. 

I am not saying that the prosecutor was correct in this case or that justice is served.  I really don't think anyone in this whole story is a hero or in the right as far as I've heard.  But I do think attempted 2nd degree murder is at least supportable from an ethics standpoint.  I have read cases where attempted murder has to be supported by intent to kill, not just attempt to cause grievous bodily harm, but the prosecutor could argue that although they began by intending to just hurt the kid, as they kicked him while he was lying unconscious on the ground they formed an intent to kill him and by continuing to kick, they acted on that intent.

I can also see the argument for shoes as being an aggravating factor.  If they were kicking him in flip flops or something, they would have injured their feet before doing the victim serious mortal injury.  Not so if they are wearing even slightly protective footwear.

The shoes argument is an interesting one, but I think it's gotten twisted in this thread.  The issue in Jena is that use of a "dangerous weapon" is an element of the aggravated battery charges the boys faced when the attempted murder charges were dropped.  It isn't an aggravator; it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction on that charge at all.

I understand your reasoning on the second-degree murder charge, but an inchoate crime doesn't import its mens rea standard from the underlying crime.  There are no reckless and knowing attempts.  Attempted murder -- even attempted second-degree murder -- requires a specific intent to kill the victim or an intent to engage in activity that is practically certain to result in death.  Since the second form of specific intent should be nearly impossible to prove in cases where the victim did not die or escape death by some miraculous circumstance (the living body undermines "practical certainty"), attempted second-degree murder requires an intent to kill, not merely an intent to inflict great bodily harm.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 05:30:10 PM
Six people ganging up on one, repeatedly kicking him until he is unconscious couldn't be construed as intending to kill him? 

This is what I don't understand (maybe because I haven't taken crim yet).  How can you get more "attempting to kill" than six people kicking an unconscious boy while he's on the ground?  I guess they could have been shooting at him or stabbing him? 

It isn't generally, no.  It's construed as an intent to cause bodily harm, aggravated battery. 

Attempted murder requires a specific, subjective intent to kill.  This means that there must be evidence that the boys actually intended to kill the victim.  The act itself can only serve as such evidence if it was practically certain to cause death.  Kicking him until he was unconscious was not practically certain to cause death, and it did not, in fact, cause death. The prosecutor could also prove attempted murder by introducing other evidence about the boys' intent to kill* if it were available, but in this case, it was not (because the boys did not intend to kill).   The elements of attempted second-degree murder are very difficult to prove (at least where the second-degree murder is a reckless homicide as opposed to a drug sale or other statutory definition).

Also, just as a note, and not to minimize the boys' culpability, there's no evidence that they kicked him after they realized he was unconscious.  Some reports say they stopped when they found out he was unconscious; some say that they never even knew he was unconscious; and some say that he was not unconscious.


*ETA: e.g., credible threats to kill, use of a deadly weapon, confessions of intent to kill
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 05:50:09 PM
I think I understand better now, but it still seems like you're leaping from "very hard to prove" to "could never have proved (proven?) it in this instance" to "acted in bad faith" to "acted in bad faith due to being a racist." 

They could not be proved in this case.  Louisiana law is really clear on the specific intent to kill needed for attempted second-degree murder and that even battery with a dangerous weapon doesn't qualify.  There was no evidence of attempted second-degree murder, no evidence of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, no likelihood of finding such evidence, and therefore no probable cause.

I infer the prosecutor's bad faith based on other evidence beyond the inappropriate charge.  This is the area of my research for the pro bono project, so I can't discuss it in too much detail. Nonetheless, the news accounts make it pretty clear that the DA was out to get at least Mychal Bell, that he made several racially insensitive comments, and that he did not investigate this incident or the previous incidents to professional standards. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 06:24:43 PM
Ah, I see.  So it was like the Duke case then--zealous prosecutor alleges something in which he has no confidence for racist reasons. 

No, because the racial dynamics of the cases are entirely different.  You're smarter than this.  And seriously, get over it.

In any case, I don't know why you're directing this at me.  You well know that I am against abuses of prosecutorial discretion in all cases, including those targeting rich white boys.  I'm not the one toying with applications to the DOJ honors program, eh?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: A. on September 23, 2007, 07:34:33 PM
What's On Language?

Safire's column in the Times Magazine.  It seemed like something that would float your boat.

It probably would.  Is it online?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Gengiswump on September 23, 2007, 07:47:55 PM

*Gengis is like Jesus, no?

I should hope so.

(Tag.)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 23, 2007, 08:19:02 PM
In my notes from first semester, 2nd degree murder is defined as killing with "implied malice or gross recklessness." 6 people stomping on someone who is lying prostrate on the ground could support a finding of implied malice or gross recklessness for the safety of the person they were kicking.  Given that the victim sustained a concussion, it is probably partly luck that they didn't break his neck or cause him some brain injury. 

I am not saying that the prosecutor was correct in this case or that justice is served.  I really don't think anyone in this whole story is a hero or in the right as far as I've heard.  But I do think attempted 2nd degree murder is at least supportable from an ethics standpoint.  I have read cases where attempted murder has to be supported by intent to kill, not just attempt to cause grievous bodily harm, but the prosecutor could argue that although they began by intending to just hurt the kid, as they kicked him while he was lying unconscious on the ground they formed an intent to kill him and by continuing to kick, they acted on that intent.

I can also see the argument for shoes as being an aggravating factor.  If they were kicking him in flip flops or something, they would have injured their feet before doing the victim serious mortal injury.  Not so if they are wearing even slightly protective footwear.


You are confusing the elements of Attempted Murder with Murder, but I see Miss P has already cleared that up.  Suppose the victim in this case had actually died, then you would have a valid argument in support of the DA charging the 6 kids with Murder based on their impliedly malicious or grossly reckless behavior.   However, nobody died here.  Moreover, as Miss P pointed out, there was no evidence that the 6 kids possessed specific intent to kill the victim here.  You can't attempt murder with mere reckless or negligent behavior in criminal law.  "Attempted" anything requires a premeditation on the part of the perpetrator that evidences that they specifically and purposely intended to achieve the crime at issue.  The fact that the Jena 6 were charged with a crime requiring such a high level of intent under the given circumstances bespeaks of bias on the part of the DA.



But his general gist is correct: Prosecutors often bring more serious charges, knowing that they will later try to plead the the defendant to a less serious crime.  There is a difference between bringing unsupported charges and bringing the most severe supported charges.

Ah, yes!  The Cardinal Rule of noob posting interpretation.  I must concur in the interpretation.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: aerynn on September 23, 2007, 08:54:28 PM
I know of one case we read where a person was successfully convicted of attempted second degree murder, where the intent was gross recklessness, but it was overturned on appeal.  I forgot the last bit when I posted.  :)

But intent can be inferred by actions and intent to kill could be inferred by the kicking while the guy is down, no?  I know it could have had the guy actually died.  Did the attackers stop themselves or was the fight disrupted by an outside party?  That would matter, because if they stopped themselves == no intent.  If the attack was disrupted, then maybe there is an argument they intended to kill the guy.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on September 23, 2007, 08:57:08 PM
I know of one case we read where a person was successfully convicted of attempted second degree murder, where the intent was gross recklessness, but it was overturned on appeal.  I forgot the last bit when I posted.  :)

But intent can be inferred by actions and intent to kill could be inferred by the kicking while the guy is down, no?  I know it could have had the guy actually died.  Did the attackers stop themselves or was the fight disrupted by an outside party?  That would matter, because if they stopped themselves == no intent.  If the attack was disrupted, then maybe there is an argument they intended to kill the guy.

Don't a lot of states do this when alcohol is involved in accidents?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 23, 2007, 09:39:18 PM
They could not be proved in this case.  Louisiana law is really clear on the specific intent to kill needed for attempted second-degree murder and that even battery with a dangerous weapon doesn't qualify.  There was no evidence of attempted second-degree murder, no evidence of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, no likelihood of finding such evidence, and therefore no probable cause.

I infer the prosecutor's bad faith based on other evidence beyond the inappropriate charge.  This is the area of my research for the pro bono project, so I can't discuss it in too much detail. Nonetheless, the news accounts make it pretty clear that the DA was out to get at least Mychal Bell, that he made several racially insensitive comments, and that he did not investigate this incident or the previous incidents to professional standards. 


TITCR!!!!


And I'll add the following from Louisiana Law:

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:27 - Attempt
 
A. Any person who, having a specific intent to commit a crime, does or omits an act for the purpose of and tending directly toward the accomplishing of his object is guilty of an attempt to commit the offense intended; and it shall be immaterial whether, under the circumstances, he would have actually accomplished his purpose.

B. (1) Mere preparation to commit a crime shall not be sufficient to constitute an attempt;

Specific intent important element:

It is essential to an attempt that there be a specific intent to commit the crime. The test appears to be--would defendant have been guilty of a crime if his intention had been fully consummated? Gross negligence or constructive intent (as in the felony murder doctrine) will not suffice.

NOTES OF DECISIONS

Evidence was insufficient to support finding that defendant inflicted stab wounds on victim's back and, thus, evidence was insufficient to support conviction for attempted second-degree murder arising from altercation between two groups of individuals, even though defendant attempted to stab victim and defendant originally might have thought that he stabbed victim; victim testified that he was stabbed from behind while he was on top of defendant, who was on his stomach and/or side, codefendant admitted stabbing victim, and surgeon who cared for victim testified that defendant could not have inflicted victim's stab wounds because of victim's size and defendant's position under him. State v. Runyon, App. 3 Cir.2005, 916 So.2d 407, 2005-36 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/2/05), writ denied 936 So.2d 207, 2006-1348 (La. 9/1/06), writ denied 942 So.2d 526, 2006-0667 (La. 11/17/06), appeal after new sentencing hearing 944 So.2d 820, 2006-823 (La.App. 3 Cir. 12/6/06).[emphasis added]

Evidence that defendant participated in robbery and that shot was fired during altercation between accomplice and victim, without more, was insufficient to show that defendant specifically intended to kill victim or that defendant and accomplice intended to utilize deadly force in course of robbery, as required to support conviction for attempted second degree murder. State v. Herron, App. 1 Cir.2004, 879 So.2d 778, 2003-2304 (La.App. 1 Cir. 5/14/04). [emphasis added]


[by contrast]


There was sufficient evidence of intent to kill to sustain conviction for attempted second-degree murder; defendant was seen by more than one witness trying to fire other shots at victim but gun was jammed, although only one spent round was recovered, victim was shot at least one time by defendant, medical testimony and photographs established that three bullets had traveled through subcutaneous tissue, but for jammed gun other shots would have been fired, at one point the defendant aimed the gun at the victim's head and attempted to fire the gun, and victim continuously tried to escape, but was restrained by the defendant. State v. Meads, App. 1 Cir.1999, 734 So.2d 792, 1998-1388 (La.App. 1 Cir. 4/1/99), writ denied 748 So.2d 465, 1999- 1328 (La. 10/15/99). [emphasis added]

Evidence was sufficient to establish that defendant possessed the specific intent to kill victims, as required to support convictions for second degree murder and attempted second degree murder; evidence clearly showed that defendant pointed a pistol at victims, then fired it, killing one victim and hitting other victim three times. State v. Roberts, App. 3 Cir.2007, 947 So.2d 208, 2006-765 (La.App. 3 Cir. 1/17/07). [emphasis added]

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 10:59:40 PM
What's On Language?

Safire's column in the Times Magazine.  It seemed like something that would float your boat.

It probably would.  Is it online?

Sho' is. (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/23/magazine/23wwln-safire-t.html)  And it's about that tattoo regret thing you posted today, too. Synchronicity.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Letsgo on September 23, 2007, 11:08:55 PM
I agree that the Jena Six were not treated fairly, but why has no one mentioned that Mr. Bell has a pretty lengthy criminal record including a battery convinction.  I'm not sure I would consider him a hero; he seems like somewhat of a troublemaker (aside from this case).
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 11:14:37 PM
Don't a lot of states do this when alcohol is involved in accidents?

I think only where one statutory definition of second-degree murder is, for instance, killing someone while operating a vehicle under the influence, not where it is reckless homicide.  In Louisiana, btw, there are several other types of homicide that fall under the second-degree murder statute:


Quote from: LRS 14:30.1(A)
A. Second degree murder is the killing of a human being:

(1) When the offender has a specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm; or

(2)(a) When the offender is engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of aggravated rape, forcible rape, aggravated arson, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, second degree kidnapping, aggravated escape, assault by drive-by shooting, armed robbery, first degree robbery, second degree robbery, simple robbery, cruelty to juveniles, second degree cruelty to juveniles, or terrorism, even though he has no intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm.

(b) When the offender is engaged in the perpetration of cruelty to juveniles, even though he has no intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm.

(3) When the offender unlawfully distributes or dispenses a controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedules I or II of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law which is the direct cause of the death of the recipient who ingested or consumed the controlled dangerous substance.

(4) When the offender unlawfully distributes or dispenses a controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedules I or II of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law to another who subsequently distributes or dispenses such controlled dangerous substance which is the direct cause of the death of the person who ingested or consumed the controlled dangerous substance.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 11:15:21 PM
I agree that the Jena Six were not treated fairly, but why has no one mentioned that Mr. Bell has a pretty lengthy criminal record including a battery convinction.  I'm not sure I would consider him a hero; he seems like somewhat of a troublemaker (aside from this case).

I don't think anyone here has referred to him as a hero. :)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Letsgo on September 23, 2007, 11:16:49 PM
I agree that the Jena Six were not treated fairly, but why has no one mentioned that Mr. Bell has a pretty lengthy criminal record including a battery convinction.  I'm not sure I would consider him a hero; he seems like somewhat of a troublemaker (aside from this case).

I don't think anyone here has referred to him as a hero. :)

Are you illiterate?  MBW stated, "Spencer Overton,at Black Prof, argues at least one of the Jena 6 is definitely a hero.  I tend to agree."  It's one of the first posts on this thread.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 23, 2007, 11:18:29 PM
Are you illiterate?  MBW stated, "Spencer Overton,at Black Prof, argues at least one of the Jena 6 is definitely a hero.  I tend to agree."  It's one of the first posts on this thread.

Take it down a notch.  I missed a post.

ETA: Now I've read the post in question (which I did, actually, skip the first time I read the thread).   I think that was using "hero" in a pretty specific context of his refusal to take a plea -- one in which his criminal record actually made his decision more courageous.  I don't think it was a general sense of "this kid is a role model or future civil rights leader." 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Letsgo on September 23, 2007, 11:20:49 PM
Are you illiterate?  MBW stated, "Spencer Overton,at Black Prof, argues at least one of the Jena 6 is definitely a hero.  I tend to agree."  It's one of the first posts on this thread.

Take it down a notch.  I missed a post.

Then, next time, read ALL the posts before you make a comment.   :)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Smokey on September 24, 2007, 12:06:57 AM
Regardless, the general point remains that the scope of this discussion has not been whether or not the boys are heros, but whether or not they were treated appropriately by the court.

Well, I don't think many people on this thread disagree with this point (that they weren't treated appropriately) and neither do I.

I only take issue with the people who refer to them as "heroes" and act as though they're modern civil rights leaders.  I guess there's something to be said for not settling so that you can get a shorter sentence, but they're only in this predicament to begin with because they ganged up on one of their classmates.  You're not a "hero" just because you commit a crime and you're charged with an unduly severe crime that you refuse to plead guilty to.  I mean... seriously.  Aside from my general aversion to violence, a group of people attacking one person is just cowardly.  I really don't see what there is about these boys to rally around.

I do understand the general civil rights/equal protection issues and that's fine.  As I said before, my problem is with the people who want to make heroes out of these kids.  I guess my point is that the DA's office should be condemned for the botching of this case, but the Jena 6 should not be congratulated for being victims of this.

I've also seen some people suggest (or at least imply) that this was a legitimate form of civil disobedience, that is that they were right to do this because of the racism they'd experienced at school, especially the noose incident and that this was their way of "fighting back.".  I know no one on this board has said this though and I trust that everyone on this board is intelligent enough that I don't need to go into why this argument is ridiculous.

I also said this earlier, but if there was a black kid using anti-Jewish slurs or something and a group of Jewish kids jumped him and beat him until he was unconscious, I'm pretty sure black leaders would be demanding that the Jewish kids receive the most severe penalty possible.  And I think in that case they might run into even more serious issues, possibly hate crime charges.  I mean... you can't have it both ways.  You should stand up for what's right, regardless of what color the victims/perps happen to be.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: lollypotter on September 24, 2007, 08:56:27 AM
Cady - this isn't a one off case. There are direct comparisons with the treatment of the other cases in Jena. Apparently, in Jena, in 2007, hanging nooses isn't racial harassment but 'boys will be boys' schoolyard pranks, wrestling a gun away when it is pulled on you is 'theft' and a schoolyard fight is attempted murder.

I don't think people in the main are calling them heroes but the problem is when other bodies, who are sworn to protect without bias, decide to better the criminals in disgraceful behaviour. 

EDIT: Sorry, didn't mean Cady, meant letsgo
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 24, 2007, 12:59:42 PM
The whole "heroes" debate is ancillary to the main point at issue here - the injustice perpetrated against 6 black students by the state of Louisiana via the Jena Prosecutor.  As lollypotter and Cady pointed out, there were several points at which the local authorities had a chance to do the right thing with this case, and each time they went the other way.  Especially the DA.  

I don't believe that the Jena 6 should be set free unless an impartial jury determines otherwise.  For those of the Jena 6 that participated (because there are reports that not all 6 kids actually hit the victim) - they beat somebody up, which is a battery.  They need to stand trial for battery.  However, DA Walters' prosecution (or lack thereof) of all the incidents surrounding this case has been suspect at best.  Any prosecutor allowing such prejudice to influence his or her administration of the law needs to be removed from office and disbarred.  See examples below:


"Prosecutors are expected to be impartial in the sense that charging decisions should be based upon the evidence, without discrimination or bias for or against any groups or individuals. Yet, at the same time, they are expected to prosecute criminal offenses with zeal and vigor within the bounds of the law and professional conduct.” See State v. Culbreath, 30 S.W.3d 309, 314 (Tenn. 2000)

"The [Prosecutor] is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor-indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one." Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935).

A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice whose duty is to seek justice rather than merely to advocate for the State’s victory at any given cost. See State v. Superior Oil, Inc., 875 S.W.2d 658, 661 (Tenn. 1994).

Massameno v. Statewide Grievance Committee, 234 Conn. 539, 663 A.2d 317 (1995) (holding that an attorney violated Rule 3.8(1) by prosecuting the case without probable cause to believe the defendant was guilty).



Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: credo on September 24, 2007, 01:33:47 PM
Sands, I recognize what you and P are saying about the attempted murder charge.  But intent is routinely demonstrated through inference.  Maybe the prosecutor thought there was a possible inference here.  I dont know though, I havent seen the DA's file.  I mean if the defendants were like "yeah were just going to rough this guy up a little" or were like "OK lets stop he might be seriously hurt" then yeah that speaks pretty strongly against intent to kill.  Without that kind of evidence either way though it all comes down to inferences.  Ultimatley the judge (I think?) didnt find PC on the attempted murder charge, so it was reduced.  Thats looks like the system worked to me.


I agree that the Jena Six were not treated fairly, but why has no one mentioned that Mr. Bell has a pretty lengthy criminal record including a battery convinction.  I'm not sure I would consider him a hero; he seems like somewhat of a troublemaker (aside from this case).

Prof. Overton noted (and I agree) that Mr. Bell could have pleaded to a lesser charge, and most likely would have not served a lengthy prison sentence.  Being willing to take such a stand, whether you are previously deemed a saint or not, is, in my mind, what makes you worthy of heroic praise.

Yeah he could have pleaded to Aggravated Battery which is what he was convicted of.  Doesnt sound like theres much question as to whether he and some compatriots stomped some kid.  If you did it you did it.  No going to fault the guy for going to court but c'mon hero for what?  It sounds like he was on probation for battery, possibly for breaking some girls jaw???  Sounds to me like he was a little more gangster than revolutionary...

Was the kid they stomped an a-hole? Probably
Was there a bunch of f-d up racial stuff directed at the black students? Yes
Were some other incidents in the town handled in an inequitable fashion? Sounds like it.
Was the defendant a great D-I football prospect? Yes
Did he have a criminal record? Yes

Should this stuff matter for the purposes of whether the defendant was guilty in this incident? NO

Now to talk about the fairness of the sentences, I personally feel that yea 15 years or whatever is over the top, and that since this was a school incident involving teenagers it makes more sense to try them as minors, but then again I wasnt at the trial.
  
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 24, 2007, 10:12:14 PM
Sands, I recognize what you and P are saying about the attempted murder charge.  But intent is routinely demonstrated through inference.  

Not usually in an attempted murder case.  You can infer recklessness from the actus reus, but not purpose. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: credo on September 24, 2007, 11:58:54 PM
Sands, I recognize what you and P are saying about the attempted murder charge.  But intent is routinely demonstrated through inference.  

Not usually in an attempted murder case.  You can infer recklessness from the actus reus, but not purpose. 

What?!?! Ms.P, please! 

Where are you getting that from? Is that a Louisiana specific deal?  I was under the impression you could normally infer intent based on attendant circumstances and probable consequences. 

ie Defendant punches victim in face causing him to go unconcious and his teeth to fly out (he has inflicted GBI) but then keeps pounding the guy in the face as he lays on the ground from which you might infer that he was not content with just causing GBI but wanted to actually kill him.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 25, 2007, 12:18:38 AM
ie Defendant punches victim in face causing him to go unconcious and his teeth to fly out (he has inflicted GBI) but then keeps pounding the guy in the face as he lays on the ground from which you might infer that he was not content with just causing GBI but wanted to actually kill him.

The Louisiana standard is that the act has to be one that a reasonable person would believe would result in death with a "probable certainty" for such an inference to be made from the act itself.  If the guy doesn't die or miraculously escape death, it's very difficult to make such an inference.  Moreover, in this case, the kids either stopped when they realized he was unconscious or stopped without realizing he was unconscious, or he was never unconscious, depending on which reports you believe.  There was no evidence of any kind that they were trying to kill him.

You can also infer intent from attendant circumstances, e.g., confessions of intent to kill, plans to kill, use of deadly weapons.  None of these were available in this case.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: credo on September 25, 2007, 02:27:32 AM
ie Defendant punches victim in face causing him to go unconcious and his teeth to fly out (he has inflicted GBI) but then keeps pounding the guy in the face as he lays on the ground from which you might infer that he was not content with just causing GBI but wanted to actually kill him.

The Louisiana standard is that the act has to be one that a reasonable person would believe would result in death with a "probable certainty" for such an inference to be made from the act itself.  If the guy doesn't die or miraculously escape death, it's very difficult to make such an inference.  Moreover, in this case, the kids either stopped when they realized he was unconscious or stopped without realizing he was unconscious, or he was never unconscious, depending on which reports you believe.  There was no evidence of any kind that they were trying to kill him.

You can also infer intent from attendant circumstances, e.g., confessions of intent to kill, plans to kill, use of deadly weapons.  None of these were available in this case.

Well Im guessing that to ascertain the "probable certainty" of an act killing someone youd have to look primarily to the facts/evidence. 

I agree that the act of "kicking someone," of itself, is not probably certain to kill someone.  The manner in which you kick someone could definately raise that probability though, wouldnt you agree? 

So yes if the defendants in this case didnt act in such a way as to raise the possibility of death to a probable certainty then yea theres no business charging them with attempted murder.  Ultimately its a fairly nuanced factual call though (im assuming "probable certainty" is construed as something significantly less than 99%, maybe even below 51%) it sounds like there are conflicting accounts as to what went on and really it would only take one account meeting that threshold to justify taking that charge to prelim.  Im assuming the DA was a little more up on the whole picture than the various media accounts floating around out there  hence my skepticism that the charge was an abuse of discretion.  Obviously this guy stepped on his own male private part in not having them tried as minors which doesnt win him any points as far as competency/ethics.

How about this though: just because theres no clear evidence a defendant intended to kill the victim, should that necessarily preclude filing an attempted murder charge if there is also no clear evidence that the defendant didnt intend to kill?  Say for example the defendant refused to give any statements to the police, but the prosecutor felt, based on is interpretation of whatever evidence is available, they had the intent.  Sure it might not survive prelim or grand jury but so long as the prosecutor isnt being tainted by "bias for or against any groups or individuals" or some other ulterior motive I dont see it as wrong.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 25, 2007, 10:45:00 AM
Sands, I recognize what you and P are saying about the attempted murder charge.  But intent is routinely demonstrated through inference.  

Not usually in an attempted murder case.  You can infer recklessness from the actus reus, but not purpose. 

What?!?! Ms.P, please! 

Where are you getting that from? Is that a Louisiana specific deal?  I was under the impression you could normally infer intent based on attendant circumstances and probable consequences. 

ie Defendant punches victim in face causing him to go unconcious and his teeth to fly out (he has inflicted GBI)but then keeps pounding the guy in the face as he lays on the ground from which you might infer that he was not content with just causing GBI but wanted to actually kill him.



I dunno about that theory, Credo.  I'm inclined to agree with Miss P on this one.  Just look at the few cases I cited earlier for examples.

Seeing as how I have nothing to do today, this will give me a good research project!


EDIT:  Just to be clear, the ISSUE IS...whether intent can be infered from attendant circumstances and/or probable consequences for the charge of Attempted Murder where 6 high school students attacked another high school student with sneakers.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 25, 2007, 01:54:04 PM
ie Defendant punches victim in face causing him to go unconcious and his teeth to fly out (he has inflicted GBI) but then keeps pounding the guy in the face as he lays on the ground from which you might infer that he was not content with just causing GBI but wanted to actually kill him.

The Louisiana standard is that the act has to be one that a reasonable person would believe would result in death with a "probable certainty" for such an inference to be made from the act itself.  If the guy doesn't die or miraculously escape death, it's very difficult to make such an inference.  Moreover, in this case, the kids either stopped when they realized he was unconscious or stopped without realizing he was unconscious, or he was never unconscious, depending on which reports you believe.  There was no evidence of any kind that they were trying to kill him.

You can also infer intent from attendant circumstances, e.g., confessions of intent to kill, plans to kill, use of deadly weapons.  None of these were available in this case.

Out of curiosity, does Louisiana law allow for an "attempted manslaughter" or somesuch charge? I've heard various pundits state that the Jena 6 did, in fact, beat the victim while he was unconscious, but as you suggest, it seems likely that they stopped after a period of time.

I don't know if the blows delivered to the head would be enough to satisfy Louisiana's standard for attempted murder, where that "the act has to be one that a reasonable person would believe would result in death with a 'probable certainty.'" But, arguing from a normative perspective, it seems as though the law should have a charge for that act separate from normal battery, since blows to the head are clearly potentially lethal (sufficient blunt trauma to the base of the skull can kill a man), moreso than, say, a kneecapping with a tire iron (which, while brutal and abhorrent, would probably not be lethal).
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 25, 2007, 02:04:49 PM
How about this though: just because theres no clear evidence a defendant intended to kill the victim, should that necessarily preclude filing an attempted murder charge if there is also no clear evidence that the defendant didnt intend to kill?  Say for example the defendant refused to give any statements to the police, but the prosecutor felt, based on is interpretation of whatever evidence is available, they had the intent.  Sure it might not survive prelim or grand jury but so long as the prosecutor isnt being tainted by "bias for or against any groups or individuals" or some other ulterior motive I dont see it as wrong.

That the attempted murder charge was primarily filed as a hedge against the uncertainties of the facts, or as a legal strategem, seems plausible enough to me, although admittedly I have little knowledge of how a prosecutor plans a prosecution.

If what you describe is what occurred, then at least to me, the demonstrators are clearly overreacting, especially since the charge has since then been reduced to a battery one.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 25, 2007, 02:13:51 PM
On a related, but different issue, what do posters think of demands that the defendant be set free on bail pending his retrial? I don't think he should be free on bail; the defendant was already found guilty as an adult, so it's unlikely that he would be found innocent when retried as a juvenile. Letting free a defendant who is likely to be found guilty makes it likely that he will flee, rather than stand trial.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 25, 2007, 02:26:48 PM
If what you describe is what occurred, then at least to me, the demonstrators are clearly overreacting, especially since the charge has since then been reduced to a battery one.

Except that many of the protestors are worried about more than just the charge, but also the circumstances surrounding the whole series of events.

Initially I had a similar reaction, because I didn't think that tennis shoes qualified as a deadly weapon, which, according to the media reports I first read, was required to prosecute for an attempted murder charge.

But if what credo alleges is true, then I think the prosecutor's behavior is fine, because he had to pick an initial charge based on the evidence he initially had on hand.

Without further knowledge of Louisiana law, though, and assuming that there is a clear-cut reason for not charging the defendant with attempted murder, I would agree that a prosecution in court for that charge is a little suspicious. But if whether the facts fit that threshhold is a murky question, then I'd give the benefit of the doubt to the prosecutor.

It's pretty tough for a 3rd party, such as myself, to know what is going on in a DA's office. That fact might be lost on the protestors who are rushing to display their moral indignation.

(That's not to say that some protestors aren't taking a more measured examination of this case, but I have the suspicion that these types of protestors are in the minority.)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: aerynn on September 25, 2007, 05:12:09 PM
Miss P, did the attackers stop themselves or was the fight broken up by others?  I read that it was in the cafeteria, so I guess I just assumed that someone else probably broke it up, and thus the heightened justification for inferring they would have kept kicking until the victim was dead or very gravely injured.

I also think that some people are inferring racism in the difference in the charges, when this fight happened on school grounds where other fights happened elsewhere in the community.  Every place I have ever lived has had stricter penalties for behavior on school grounds than out in the wider community, maybe because students are compelled to attend high school and not hang out at the local convenience store or a rowdy party.  I wonder how much is racism and how much is just the difference in circumstances.

It is a terrible situation for everyone though.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: country girl on September 25, 2007, 08:31:32 PM
That whole situation is ridiculous.  Those boys should not have been tried as adults, and that one (Marcus??) who has been sitting in prison for almost a year??  For what, a school yard fight??  And then the white boys who pretty much started everything are still going to the school.  >:(  That is sad that that situation is occuring in 2007 and what's worse is that no major news network even covered it until Michael Baisden and them got involved. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 25, 2007, 09:15:10 PM
Yeah I remember this bit from crim.  There is (under MPC and Texas law anyway) no such thing as an attempt at a reckless crime (e.g. manslaughter, depraved-heart murder.)  In-class hypo was a person shooting a gun into a crowd with no real intent to kill a specific individual, just a desire to cause mayhem, and miraculously nobody dies.  No attempted DH murder there - it's reckless something or other instead.

Thanks for clearing that up.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 25, 2007, 09:34:18 PM
According to Jason Whitlock, the beating was not connected to the nooses at all. The victim wasn't involved in the noose incident.

Here's the article I'm citing:

Quote
Lessons from Jena, La.
By JASON WHITLOCK

Now we love Mychal Bell, the star of the 2006 Jena (La.) High School football team, the teenage boy who has sat in jail since December for his role in a six-on-one beatdown of a fellow student.

Thursday, thousands of us, proud African-Americans, expressed our devotion to and desire to see justice for the “Jena Six,” the half-dozen black students who knocked unconscious, kicked and stomped a white classmate.

Jesse Jackson compared Thursday’s rallies in Jena to the protests and marches that used to take place in cities like Selma, Ala., in the 1960s. Al Sharpton claimed Thursday’s peaceful demonstrations were to highlight racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

Jesse and Al, as they’re prone to do, served a kernel of truth stacked on a mountain of lies.

There are undeniable racial and economic inequities in our criminal justice system, and from afar the “Jena Six” rallies certainly looked and felt like the righteous protests of the 1960s.

But the reality is Thursday’s protests are just another sign that we remain deeply locked in denial about the path we need to travel today for true American liberation, equality and power in the new millennium.

The fact that we waited to love Mychal Bell until after he’d thrown away a Division I football scholarship and nine months of his life is just as heinous as the grossly excessive attempted-murder charges that originally landed him in jail.

Reed Walters, the Jena district attorney, is being accused of racism because he didn’t show Bell compassion when the teenager was brought before the court for the third time on assault charges in a two-year span.

Where was our compassion long before Bell got into this kind of trouble?

That’s the question that needed to be asked in Jena and across the country on Thursday. But it wasn’t asked because everyone has been lied to about what really transpired in the small southern town.

There was no “schoolyard fight” as a result of nooses being hung on a whites-only tree.

Justin Barker, the white victim, was cold-cocked from behind, knocked unconscious and stomped by six black athletes. Barker, luckily, sustained no life-threatening injuries and was released from the hospital three hours after the attack.

A black U.S. attorney, Don Washington, investigated the “Jena Six” case and concluded that the attack on Barker had absolutely nothing to do with the noose-hanging incident three months before. The nooses and two off-campus incidents were tied to Barker’s assault by people wanting to gain sympathy for the “Jena Six” in reaction to Walters’ extreme charges of attempted murder.

Much has been written about Bell’s trial, the six-person all-white jury that convicted him of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery and the clueless public defender who called no witnesses and offered no defense. It is rarely mentioned that no black people responded to the jury summonses and that Bell’s public defender was black.

It’s almost never mentioned that Bell’s absentee father returned from Dallas and re-entered his son’s life only after Bell faced attempted-murder charges. At a bond hearing in August, Bell’s father and a parade of local ministers promised a judge that they would supervise Bell if he was released from prison.

Where were the promises and supervision before any of this?

It’s rarely mentioned that Bell was already on probation for assault when he was accused of participating in Barker’s attack. And it’s never mentioned that white people in the “racist” town of Jena provided Bell support and protected his football career long before Jesse, Al, Bell’s father and all the others took a sincere interest in Mychal Bell.

You won’t hear about any of that because it doesn’t fit the picture we want to paint of Jena, this case, America and ourselves.

We don’t practice preventive medicine. Mychal Bell needed us long before he was cuffed and jailed. Here is another undeniable, statistical fact: The best way for a black (or white) father to ensure that his son doesn’t fall victim to a racist prosecutor is by participating in his son’s life on a daily basis.

That fact needed to be shared Thursday in Jena. The constant preaching of that message would short-circuit more potential “Jena Six” cases than attributing random acts of six-on-one violence to three-month-old nooses.

And I am in no way excusing the nooses. The responsible kids should’ve been expelled. A few years after I’d graduated, a similar incident happened at my high school involving our best football player, a future NFL tight end. He was expelled.

The Jena school board foolishly overruled its principal and suspended the kids for three days.

But the kids responsible for Barker’s beating deserve to be punished. The prosecutor needed to be challenged on his excessive charges. And we as black folks need to question ourselves about why too many of us can only get energized to help our young people once they’re in harm’s way.

I’ve been the spokesman for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City for six years. Getting black men to volunteer to mentor for just two hours a week to the more than 100 black boys on a waiting list is a yearly crisis. It’s a nationwide crisis for the organization. In Kansas City, we’re lucky if we get 20 black Big Brothers a year.

You don’t want to see any more “Jena Six” cases? Love Mychal Bell before he violently breaks the law.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 25, 2007, 09:42:14 PM
That whole situation is ridiculous.  Those boys should not have been tried as adults, and that one (Marcus??) who has been sitting in prison for almost a year??  For what, a school yard fight??  And then the white boys who pretty much started everything are still going to the school.  >:(  That is sad that that situation is occuring in 2007 and what's worse is that no major news network even covered it until Michael Baisden and them got involved. 


Jumping a kid from behind doesn't really qualify as a fight in my book. Nor does giving a kid a 6-on-1 beating.

If, as it seems likely, the Jena 6 delivered the beating, they do need to be punished. Not punishing them would be morally reprehensible, and would also send the wrong message to potential lawbreakers about how the rule of law can be skirted by political pressure.

I do agree that juveniles need to be charged as juveniles, and not adults, though. It seems odd that the prosecutor would overlook such a basic issue.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 25, 2007, 09:43:43 PM
It's not just about the damned tennis shoe, or even just about the attempted murder charge. It's about all the incidents leading up to it. Even if the DA is 110% justified in this charge (which is what the discussions seems to have boiled down to) there are other things that are really troubling about the whole series of events. There are lots of things worth protesting here.

What else is worth protesting about this case?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 25, 2007, 10:18:00 PM
Have you read the rest of the thread? Or other reports of the situation? I'm not being sarcastic. I'll go and dig up the specific examples for you, but there are some good articles that have been posted so far if you actually haven't heard  anything about this other than the attempted murder charge. Alci's article seemed pretty balanced. The D.A. coming into school before there had been any violent incidents and threatening to take away the lives of certain students with "a stroke of my pen" or something to that effect is one thing that springs to mind as worth protesting.

And I don't think the D.A. "overlooked" the fact that they should be tried as juveniles.

Oh yeah, I remember hearing about the "stroke of my pen" incident. That incident also struck me as bizarre. It could be that the DA enjoys an overinflated ego, or that he was having a bad day, but either way, the Justice Department should reconsider his appointment given that a person in such a position of authority should not make those kinds of threats.

I didn't realize that people were protesting that incident, though. Most of the activist literature I've come across has demanded that the Jena 6 be let free, not that the DA should be fired for abusing his authority or mistrying the accused as adults (which, aside from being uncalled for, additionally wasted taxpayer money by requiring a retrial). Based on what I've read so far, I'm definitely NOT for allowing the Jena 6 go free.

I'll continue looking thru the thread a bit later. I've got a few things to do tonight.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 25, 2007, 11:06:28 PM
It's not just about the damned tennis shoe, or even just about the attempted murder charge. It's about all the incidents leading up to it. Even if the DA is 110% justified in this charge (which is what the discussions seems to have boiled down to) there are other things that are really troubling about the whole series of events. There are lots of things worth protesting here.

What else is worth protesting about this case?

Have you read the rest of the thread? Or other reports of the situation? I'm not being sarcastic. I'll go and dig up the specific examples for you, but there are some good articles that have been posted so far if you actually haven't heard  anything about this other than the attempted murder charge. Alci's article seemed pretty balanced. The D.A. coming into school before there had been any violent incidents and threatening to take away the lives of certain students with "a stroke of my pen" or something to that effect is one thing that springs to mind as worth protesting.

And I don't think the D.A. "overlooked" the fact that they should be tried as juveniles.

Hey! This thread was actually a pretty informative read. I had expected the 5 pages to be full of self-aggrandizing displays of righteousness, but instead was blessed with an opportunity to learn from a measured discussiono.

I'd be interested to hear the evidence of the DA acting in bad faith not yet reported that Miss P is compiling for her project.

Prosecutorial overzealousness beyond what is reasonably supported by the facts is certainly a threat to the legal system.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on September 25, 2007, 11:24:49 PM
Though I don't much agree with Whitlock, nor the first part of this statement, I do think it is a powerful message:

"You don’t want to see any more “Jena Six” cases? Love Mychal Bell before he violently breaks the law."
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 25, 2007, 11:47:06 PM
OK, the official Burning-Sands-clearly-needs-to-start-working-at-the-firm-because-he-has-too-much-time-on-his-hands brief.  My 2 cents worth of analysis on the aforementioned Jena 6 issue.  I woulda kicked it out sooner but I had to go catch a drink with the fellas.  Note to self, don't drink and do legal research!

Long story short, looks like both Miss P and Credo were right.  You can infer intent for attempted murder, but not in this case.

enjoy:

ISSUE:

The question presented is whether intent can be inferred from attendant circumstances and/or probable consequences for the charge of Attempted Murder where 6 high school students attacked another high school student with their hands and feet while wearing tennis shoes.

RULE:

The general rule for attempted murder in most, if not all, jurisdictions throughout the United States requires two elements: (i) a specific intent to commit murder, and (ii) an overt act in furtherance of that object.  People v. Acero, 161 Cal.App.3d 217, 224 (Cal. App. 4th 1985); People v. Rice, 505 N.Y.S.2d 726, 726 (N.Y. App. Div. 2d 1986); Holman v. State, 680 S.W.2d 894, 896 (Tex.App. 1 Dist. 1984).  With respect to the intent element, a number of states have explicitly held that intent may not be inferred or presumed from the circumstances.  See People v. Snyder, 15 Cal.2d 706, 708-709 (1940) (holding that the specific intent required for attempted murder must be proved by the evidence and may not be presumed); see also People v. Walker, 61 Ill.App.3d 891, 896 (Ill. App. 2d Dist. 1978) (finding reversible error for attempted murder charge where jury was allowed to infer intent for attempted murder even if they believed the defendant only had the intent to do great bodily harm); see also Graves v. State, 82 Nev. 137, 142 (1966) (holding that the specific intent to kill may not be based upon a presumption).  Conversely, a number of states, including Louisiana, have allowed specific intent to be inferred or rebuttably presumed from particular circumstances reasonably indicating the defendant's intent to kill.  See Free v. State, 495 So.2d 1147, 1159 (Ala. Crim. App. 1986) (finding evidence was sufficient to demonstrate that defendant had requisite specific intent to commit murder and attempted murder rather than mere general intent to shoot at passing cars, where location of bullet entry points in vehicles indicated intent to strike occupants therein, which was supported by fact that one person was killed and another was wounded); see also State v. Sanders, 742 So.2d 1009, 1013-14 (La. Ct. App. 5th Cir. 1999) (holding that intent for attempted first-degree murder could be inferred from firing seven shots at a police car and almost hitting the police officer); see also People v. Skian, 585 N.Y.S.2d 206, (N.Y. App. Div. 1st 1992) (holding that evidence in attempted murder prosecution was sufficient to allow jury to infer that defendant intended to cause victim's death when he repeatedly stabbed victim in chest, back, abdomen, side and shoulder, even absent express declaration on defendant's part that he intended to kill victim).

ANALYSIS:

The Louisiana courts have allowed specific intent for attempted murder to be inferred from the circumstances surrounding a defendant's actions.  State v. Graham, 420 So.2d 1126 (La. 1982); State v. Boyer, 406 So.2d 143 (La. 1981).  However, it is notable to observe that even though the use of a "dangerous weapon"1 is not essential to the charge of attempted murder,2 the Louisiana courts have consistently found such an inference reasonable only when a "dangerous weapon" is used.  See Sanders, 742 So.2d at 1013-14 (finding that intent for attempted first-degree murder could be inferred from firing several shots from a gun at a police officer); see also State v. Scoby, 536 So.2d 615, 621 (La. Ct. App. 1st Cir. 1988), writ denied, 540 So.2d 339 (La. 1989) (finding that intent for second-degree attempted murder could be inferred from evidence that defendant stabbed the victim with a butcher knife while the victim was lying on the ground, pursued the victim as he attempted to flee, and that the victim suffered life-threatening injuries requiring medical attention); see also State v. Cushman, 481 So.2d 1376, 1378, 1380 (La. Ct. App. 5 Cir. 1986.) (finding that intent for attempted second-degree murder could be inferred from repeated beating of victim's skull with an iron pipe); see also State v. Latiolais, 453 So.2d 1266, 1267, 1269 (La. Ct. App. 3d Cir. 1984) (finding that intent for attempted second-degree murder could be inferred from stabbing the victim several times with a screwdriver). 

Likewise, the Louisiana courts have consistently held defendants guilty of battery (not attempted murder) where no deadly weapon was used during an assault.  See State v. Garner, 913 So.2d 874, 877 (La. Ct. App. 2d Cir. 2005) (noting that second-degree battery was the appropriate charge for defendant where no weapons were used during fight); see also State v. Scott, 836 So.2d 1180 (La. Ct. App. 2d Cir. 2003) (charging defendant in a school yard fight with second-degree battery where defendant beat victim in the head with his fists and elbows until victim was unconscious). 

It is most important to observe that the Louisiana courts have refused to infer the intent required for first or second-degree attempted murder if the evidence shows that the defendant only intended to cause bodily harm to the victim3 even when a deadly weapon is used.  See State v. Butler, 322 So.2d 189 (La. 1975); see also State v. Guin, 444 So.2d 625 (La. Ct. App. 3d Cir. 1983); see also State v. Linear, 600 So.2d 113 (La. Ct. App. 2d Cir. 1992).  The Louisiana courts have thus held that "a specific intent to inflict great bodily harm is sufficient to find a defendant guilty of murder if the victim dies, but is not sufficient to find him guilty of the attempt if the victim survives."  Latiolais, 453 So.2d at 1268.  "In such a case, the defendant's intent to inflict great bodily harm would be sufficient only to find him guilty of a battery.”  Id.  Furthermore, although "specific intent to inflict great bodily harm may support a murder conviction, attempted murder requires a specific intent to kill." State v. Holmes, 653 So.2d 642, 645 (La. Ct. App. 5th Cir. 1995).

In the instant case, on December 4, 2006, 17-year-old white Jena High School student Justin Barker was assaulted at school.4  He was struck on the back of the head and knocked down by a black student. Id. According to some witnesses, a group of black students then repeatedly kicked him.  Id. A doctor treated Barker, who was left unconscious after the attack, at the local hospital.5 He was released after two hours of treatment and observation for a concussion and an eye that had swollen shut. Id. The emergency physician's record shows that he also had injuries to his face, ears and hand. Id. He was able to attend his school's Ring ceremony that evening. Id.  The instant case did not involve an assault with a dangerous weapon6 as recognized by Louisiana's attempted murder cases, nor did it provide circumstances where death would be the natural or probable result.  Therefore, although intent for attempted murder may be inferred under Louisiana law in certain circumstances, the facts of this case do not warrant such an inferrence.

CONCLUSION:

The defendants in the instant case have assaulted the victim without the use of a gun, knife, screwdriver, iron pipe, sharp object, blunt object, or any other type of weapon that allows the trier of fact to infer the intent to kill under Louisiana law.   The defendants have, however, assaulted the victim with their bare hands and feet while they were wearing tennis shoes.  Since Louisiana has been clear that this type of an assault warrants the charge of battery, it is contrary to Louisiana law to find an inference for the intent to kill under the given circumstances.

----

FN1. "Dangerous Weapon" is defined as any gas, liquid or other substance or instrumentality, which, in the manner used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.  La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:2

FN2. State v. Roberts, 213 La. 559, 563 (1948).

FN3. "Since death is not the natural or probable result of a blow with the hand, it seems that no intent to kill will, under ordinary circumstances, be inferred."  Inference of Malice or Intent to Kill where Killing is by Blow Without Weapon, 22 A.L.R.2d 854, § 2 (1952).

FN4. Gretel C. Kovach and Arian Campo-Flores,A Town In Turmoil, Newsweek, Sept. 20, 2007.

FN5. Darryl Fears,La. Town Fells 'White Tree,' but Tension Runs Deep, The Washington Post, Aug. 4 2007.

FN6. Although the District Attorney cited the shoes worn by the Jena 6 as "dangerous weapons", the Louisiana case law does not support a charge of attempted murder where the "dangerous weapon" is a tennis shoe.  See State v. Munoz, 575 So.2d 848, 850 (La. Ct. App. 5th Cir. 1991) (holding that Rubber-soled tennis shoe which defendant was wearing when he kicked his victim in the head so forcefully that impact lifted victim's body off ground constituted a “dangerous weapon” for purposes of committing aggravated battery) (emphasis added). Therefore, the instant case is clearly distinguishable from Louisiana's attempted murder cases, and falls in line more so with its battery cases.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 25, 2007, 11:54:32 PM
Dang, son.

Thanks for doing all that work, Sands.  Now we know why you're in line to make the big bucks! :)

A few people asked me questions, either indirectly or directly, and I believe Sands mostly answered them (more accurately and precisely than I would have) except for Pseudo Nym's question about prosecutorial bias.  Unfortunately, I can't talk about my research because my team is under a confidentiality agreement, but I think there is a good amount of evidence of bias in the public view, including the "stroke of a pen" incident and the failure to investigate related incidents.  I'm sorry I can't be more helpful.  :-\
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 25, 2007, 11:58:34 PM
Dang, son.

Thanks for doing all that work, Sands.  Now we know why you're in line to make the big bucks! :)

A few people asked me questions, either indirectly or directly, and I believe Sands mostly answered them (more accurately and precisely than I would have) except for Pseudo Nym's question about prosecutorial bias.  Unfortunately, I can't talk about my research because my team is under a confidentiality agreement, but I think there is a good amount of evidence of bias in the public view, including the "stroke of a pen" incident and the failure to investigate related incidents.  I'm sorry I can't be more helpful.  :-\

Don't be silly, you've been droppin mad knowledge on the subject so far.  Keep doin what you do.

Interesting subject.  I gotta thank you guys for giving me something to keep my mind going during these long days.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 26, 2007, 11:35:24 AM
Your post used the term "deadly" weapon a few times. Did you mean "dangerous" weapon? Even though I'm not knowledgeable about the applicable laws, I'm willing to bet that there's a distinction between these two terms.

ANALYSIS:

The Louisiana courts have allowed specific intent for attempted murder to be inferred from the circumstances surrounding a defendant's actions.  State v. Graham, 420 So.2d 1126 (La. 1982); State v. Boyer, 406 So.2d 143 (La. 1981).  However, it is notable to observe that even though the use of a "dangerous weapon"1 is not essential to the charge of attempted murder,2 the Louisiana courts have consistently found such an inference reasonable only when a "dangerous weapon" is used.  See Sanders, 742 So.2d at 1013-14 (finding that intent for attempted first-degree murder could be inferred from firing several shots from a gun at a police officer); see also State v. Scoby, 536 So.2d 615, 621 (La. Ct. App. 1st Cir. 1988), writ denied, 540 So.2d 339 (La. 1989) (finding that intent for second-degree attempted murder could be inferred from evidence that defendant stabbed the victim with a butcher knife while the victim was lying on the ground, pursued the victim as he attempted to flee, and that the victim suffered life-threatening injuries requiring medical attention); see also State v. Cushman, 481 So.2d 1376, 1378, 1380 (La. Ct. App. 5 Cir. 1986.) (finding that intent for attempted second-degree murder could be inferred from repeated beating of victim's skull with an iron pipe); see also State v. Latiolais, 453 So.2d 1266, 1267, 1269 (La. Ct. App. 3d Cir. 1984) (finding that intent for attempted second-degree murder could be inferred from stabbing the victim several times with a screwdriver). 

Likewise, the Louisiana courts have consistently held defendants guilty of battery (not attempted murder) where no deadly weapon was used during an assault.  See State v. Garner, 913 So.2d 874, 877 (La. Ct. App. 2d Cir. 2005) (noting that second-degree battery was the appropriate charge for defendant where no weapons were used during fight); see also State v. Scott, 836 So.2d 1180 (La. Ct. App. 2d Cir. 2003) (charging defendant in a school yard fight with second-degree battery where defendant beat victim in the head with his fists and elbows until victim was unconscious). 

It is most important to observe that the Louisiana courts have refused to infer the intent required for first or second-degree attempted murder if the evidence shows that the defendant only intended to cause bodily harm to the victim3 even when a deadly weapon is used.  See State v. Butler, 322 So.2d 189 (La. 1975); see also State v. Guin, 444 So.2d 625 (La. Ct. App. 3d Cir. 1983); see also State v. Linear, 600 So.2d 113 (La. Ct. App. 2d Cir. 1992).  The Louisiana courts have thus held that "a specific intent to inflict great bodily harm is sufficient to find a defendant guilty of murder if the victim dies, but is not sufficient to find him guilty of the attempt if the victim survives."  Latiolais, 453 So.2d at 1268.  "In such a case, the defendant's intent to inflict great bodily harm would be sufficient only to find him guilty of a battery.”  Id.  Furthermore, although "specific intent to inflict great bodily harm may support a murder conviction, attempted murder requires a specific intent to kill." State v. Holmes, 653 So.2d 642, 645 (La. Ct. App. 5th Cir. 1995).

So Louisiana courts have historically interpreted the requirements for attempted murder in a way that de-emphasizes the "manner used" of the weapon, in determining whether or not it qualifies as a "dangerous weapon" ("any gas, liquid or other substance or instrumentality, which, in the manner used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.")?

Credo's 1st post on this thread differently interpreted the requirement for a weapon to be classified as "dangerous weapon." I thought his interpretation was concurrent with the common use of English, which is which is why I'm surprised that Louisiana courts have repeatedly interpreted this requirement differently.

Here's Credo's post, so you don't have to search the thread:
Quote
The key here being "instrumentality, which, in the manner used, is... likely to produce... great bodily harm."

You stomp some prostrate kid with a shoe on and yes that shoe becomes a dangerous weapon for the purpose of this statute.  Its not hard to break a bone by punting some guy in the ribs with a basketball shoe on, especially if the guy doin the kikcing is a star fullback/linebacker.  It all hinges on how the shoe was used, if they just nudged him with their foot then thats not a manner of use likely to produce great bodily harm but there seems to have been evidence they were kicking him with some force.  Under LA law that qualifies as aggravated battery.  Its not some wild legal theory cooked up by the DA, Judge, and Jury.

FN6. Although the District Attorney cited the shoes worn by the Jena 6 as "dangerous weapons", the Louisiana case law does not support a charge of attempted murder where the "dangerous weapon" is a tennis shoe.  See State v. Munoz, 575 So.2d 848, 850 (La. Ct. App. 5th Cir. 1991) (holding that Rubber-soled tennis shoe which defendant was wearing when he kicked his victim in the head so forcefully that impact lifted victim's body off ground constituted a “dangerous weapon” for purposes of committing aggravated battery) (emphasis added). Therefore, the instant case is clearly distinguishable from Louisiana's attempted murder cases, and falls in line more so with its battery cases. [/size]

Did State v. Munoz explicitly preclude classifying the tennis shoes as a "dangerous weapon" for the purpose of an attempted murder charge?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 26, 2007, 12:00:34 PM
No that's my typo.  I should have said "dangerous" weapon instead of deadly. 

As far as Credo's post - no we're saying the same thing.  Literally anything could become a "dangerous weapon" based on the circumstances.  The real question becomes - is it a "dangerous weapon" for battery purposes or for attempted murder purposes? 

What is important for us to note here is that, for attempted murder charges, the cases generally invovled dangerous weapons that were likely to produce death AND which were used in a manner that would likely produce death.  That would rule out Tennis Shoes for attmpted murder. 

For the battery cases, most of them did not invovle a "dangerous weapon" at all, and if they did, the "dangerous weapon" was something along the lines of the shoes which, in all likelihood, would be more likely to cause a black eye rather than cause death.   Even in the cases like Guin and Linear, the defendant was actually using a conventional "dangerous weapon" that we would all agree is a dangerous weapon in the common sense meaning of the word such as a knife or a gun but, because their intent was clearly to cause bodily harm and not death, a charge of attempted murder could not be sustained.  So it appears that the common theme in LA when it comes to weapons and attempted murder revolves around two things:

#1 - a conventional weapon that will likely kill somebody (ie. gun, knife, bomb, lead pipe)
#2 - using that weapon in a manner that will likely kill sombody

Throughout my extensive searches of the Westlaw and LexisNexis databases, I saw no case sustaining an attempted murder charge in Louisiana where the only "dangerous weapon" involved was a shoe.  Maybe I missed it.  I guess I can keep looking. :P



Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 26, 2007, 02:53:26 PM
Here is an interesting counter-example from the state of Oregon with very similar facts.  Notice the charge given.


Court of Appeals of Oregon
State v. Cook
163 Or.App. 578, 989 P.2d 474
Or.App.,1999.


Defendant was a member of a group of people,FN1 who severely beat another man, Spencer, in an altercation that took place outside a tavern in Baker City. The participants had been drinking before the attack occurred. Spencer was rendered defenseless and lay helpless on the ground soon after the attack began. Various witnesses tried to break up the altercation but, before they could do so, the group of attackers delivered multiple kicks to the victim's face and head with their shoes. As did other participants, defendant personally kicked Spencer in the head. Among other injuries, the victim suffered multiple facial fractures, a palate fracture and sciatic nerve damage.


FN1. Defendant was tried along with three other co-defendants: Stuart, Stanley and Marler.


Defendant was indicted on a single charge of assault in the first degree as a result of his role in the attack. The indictment alleged, in part:

“The defendants, acting together and as part of the same transaction * * * did * * * intentionally cause serious physical injury to [Spencer] by means of a dangerous weapon, to-wit: shoes * * *.”

At the conclusion of trial, the trial court acquitted defendant of first-degree assault, because the court did not find beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant intended to cause serious physical injury to Spencer.


---------------------




Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 26, 2007, 11:28:01 PM
No that's my typo.  I should have said "dangerous" weapon instead of deadly. 

As far as Credo's post - no we're saying the same thing.  Literally anything could become a "dangerous weapon" based on the circumstances.  The real question becomes - is it a "dangerous weapon" for battery purposes or for attempted murder purposes? 

What is important for us to note here is that, for attempted murder charges, the cases generally invovled dangerous weapons that were likely to produce death AND which were used in a manner that would likely produce death.  That would rule out Tennis Shoes for attmpted murder. 

For the battery cases, most of them did not invovle a "dangerous weapon" at all, and if they did, the "dangerous weapon" was something along the lines of the shoes which, in all likelihood, would be more likely to cause a black eye rather than cause death.   Even in the cases like Guin and Linear, the defendant was actually using a conventional "dangerous weapon" that we would all agree is a dangerous weapon in the common sense meaning of the word such as a knife or a gun but, because their intent was clearly to cause bodily harm and not death, a charge of attempted murder could not be sustained.  So it appears that the common theme in LA when it comes to weapons and attempted murder revolves around two things:

#1 - a conventional weapon that will likely kill somebody (ie. gun, knife, bomb, lead pipe)
#2 - using that weapon in a manner that will likely kill sombody

Throughout my extensive searches of the Westlaw and LexisNexis databases, I saw no case sustaining an attempted murder charge in Louisiana where the only "dangerous weapon" involved was a shoe.  Maybe I missed it.  I guess I can keep looking. :P

Yes, I think this is exactly right.  Here's an explanation coming from a different angle:

Use of a "dangerous weapon" is an element of aggravated battery in Louisiana.  "Dangerous weapon" is defined by the statute as "any gas, liquid or other substance or instrumentality, which, in the manner used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm." La.R.S. 14:2(A)(3). For the purposes of an aggravated battery conviction, the dangerous weapon used can be one that (as used) is intended or likely to cause death OR great bodily harm.   (This makes sense because while Louisiana battery and assault law is defined in terms of the instrumentality, common law aggravated battery is often defined in terms of the injury, as battery that causes great bodily harm.)

Use of a "dangerous weapon" is not an element of attempted second-degree (reckless) murder.  It is, rather, a judge-made standard about the kind of evidence from which the factfinder can infer intent to kill -- which is an element of the crime.  Thus, in an attempted murder case, the dangerous weapon must be one that (as used) is likely to cause death, not merely a weapon that (as used) is likely to cause great bodily harm short of death.  Otherwise, the weapon couldn't be offered as proof of intent to kill as opposed to proof of intent to cause great bodily harm (which is not sufficient to make out an attempted second-degree murder case).  

Sands may have meant to type "dangerous weapon" instead of "deadly weapon," but I actually think that a real distinction lurked beneath the slip.

EDIT
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on September 27, 2007, 06:57:56 AM
THE case of the so-called Jena Six has fired the imaginations of thousands, notably young African-Americans who, according to many of their comments, believe they will be in the vanguard of a new civil rights movement. Whether America needs a new civil rights movement I leave to social activists, politicians and the people who must give life to such a cause.

I am a small-town lawyer and prosecutor. For 16 years, it has been my job as the district attorney to review each criminal case brought to me by the police department or the sheriff, match the facts to any applicable laws and seek justice for those who have been harmed. The work is often rewarding, but not always.

I do not question the sincerity or motivation of the 10,000 or more protesters who descended on Jena last week, after riding hundreds of miles on buses. But long before reaching our town of 3,000 people, they had decided that a miscarriage of justice was taking place here. Their anger at me was summed up by a woman who said, “If you can figure out how to make a schoolyard fight into an attempted murder charge, I’m sure you can figure out how to make stringing nooses into a hate crime.”

That could be a compelling statement to someone trying to motivate listeners on a radio show, but as I am a lawyer obligated to enforce the laws of my state, it does not work for me.

I cannot overemphasize how abhorrent and stupid I find the placing of the nooses on the schoolyard tree in late August 2006. If those who committed that act considered it a prank, their sense of humor is seriously distorted. It was mean-spirited and deserves the condemnation of all decent people.

But it broke no law. I searched the Louisiana criminal code for a crime that I could prosecute. There is none.

Similarly, the United States attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, who is African-American, found no federal law against what was done.

A district attorney cannot take people to trial for acts not covered in the statutes. Imagine the trampling of individual rights that would occur if prosecutors were allowed to pursue every person whose behavior they disapproved of.

The “hate crime” the protesters wish me to prosecute does not exist as a stand-alone offense in Louisiana law. It’s not that our Legislature has turned a blind eye to crimes motivated by race or other personal characteristics, but it has addressed the problem in a way that does not cover what happened in Jena. The hate crime statute is used to enhance the sentences of defendants found guilty of specific crimes, like murder or rape, who chose their victims based on race, religion, sexual orientation or other factors.

Last week, a reporter asked me whether, if I had it to do over, I would do anything differently. I didn’t think of it at the time, but the answer is yes. I would have done a better job of explaining that the offenses of Dec. 4, 2006, did not stem from a “schoolyard fight” as it has been commonly described in the news media and by critics.

Conjure the image of schoolboys fighting: they exchange words, clench fists, throw punches, wrestle in the dirt until classmates or teachers pull them apart. Of course that would not be aggravated second-degree battery, which is what the attackers are now charged with. (Five of the defendants were originally charged with attempted second-degree murder.) But that’s not what happened at Jena High School.

The victim in this crime, who has been all but forgotten amid the focus on the defendants, was a young man named Justin Barker, who was not involved in the nooses incident three months earlier. According to all the credible evidence I am aware of, after lunch, he walked to his next class. As he passed through the gymnasium door to the outside, he was blindsided and knocked unconscious by a vicious blow to the head thrown by Mychal Bell. While lying on the ground unaware of what was happening to him, he was brutally kicked by at least six people.

Imagine you were walking down a city street, and someone leapt from behind a tree and hit you so hard that you fell to the sidewalk unconscious. Would you later describe that as a fight?

Only the intervention of an uninvolved student protected Mr. Barker from severe injury or death. There was serious bodily harm inflicted with a dangerous weapon — the definition of aggravated second-degree battery. Mr. Bell’s conviction on that charge as an adult has been overturned, but I considered adult status appropriate because of his role as the instigator of the attack, the seriousness of the charge and his prior criminal record.

I can understand the emotions generated by the juxtaposition of the noose incident with the attack on Mr. Barker and the outcomes for the perpetrators of each. In the final analysis, though, I am bound to enforce the laws of Louisiana as they exist today, not as they might in someone’s vision of a perfect world.

That is what I have done. And that is what I must continue to do.

ETA: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/26/opinion/26walters.html?ex=1348545600&en=cc3f51e0835ee8c7&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink


end of story as far as I'm concerned.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 27, 2007, 07:55:42 AM
THE case of the so-called Jena Six has fired the imaginations of thousands, notably young African-Americans who, according to many of their comments, believe they will be in the vanguard of a new civil rights movement. Whether America needs a new civil rights movement I leave to social activists, politicians and the people who must give life to such a cause.

I am a small-town lawyer and prosecutor. For 16 years, it has been my job as the district attorney to review each criminal case brought to me by the police department or the sheriff, match the facts to any applicable laws and seek justice for those who have been harmed. The work is often rewarding, but not always.

I do not question the sincerity or motivation of the 10,000 or more protesters who descended on Jena last week, after riding hundreds of miles on buses. But long before reaching our town of 3,000 people, they had decided that a miscarriage of justice was taking place here. Their anger at me was summed up by a woman who said, “If you can figure out how to make a schoolyard fight into an attempted murder charge, I’m sure you can figure out how to make stringing nooses into a hate crime.”

That could be a compelling statement to someone trying to motivate listeners on a radio show, but as I am a lawyer obligated to enforce the laws of my state, it does not work for me.

I cannot overemphasize how abhorrent and stupid I find the placing of the nooses on the schoolyard tree in late August 2006. If those who committed that act considered it a prank, their sense of humor is seriously distorted. It was mean-spirited and deserves the condemnation of all decent people.

But it broke no law. I searched the Louisiana criminal code for a crime that I could prosecute. There is none.

Similarly, the United States attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, who is African-American, found no federal law against what was done.

A district attorney cannot take people to trial for acts not covered in the statutes. Imagine the trampling of individual rights that would occur if prosecutors were allowed to pursue every person whose behavior they disapproved of.

The “hate crime” the protesters wish me to prosecute does not exist as a stand-alone offense in Louisiana law. It’s not that our Legislature has turned a blind eye to crimes motivated by race or other personal characteristics, but it has addressed the problem in a way that does not cover what happened in Jena. The hate crime statute is used to enhance the sentences of defendants found guilty of specific crimes, like murder or rape, who chose their victims based on race, religion, sexual orientation or other factors.

Last week, a reporter asked me whether, if I had it to do over, I would do anything differently. I didn’t think of it at the time, but the answer is yes. I would have done a better job of explaining that the offenses of Dec. 4, 2006, did not stem from a “schoolyard fight” as it has been commonly described in the news media and by critics.

Conjure the image of schoolboys fighting: they exchange words, clench fists, throw punches, wrestle in the dirt until classmates or teachers pull them apart. Of course that would not be aggravated second-degree battery, which is what the attackers are now charged with. (Five of the defendants were originally charged with attempted second-degree murder.) But that’s not what happened at Jena High School.

The victim in this crime, who has been all but forgotten amid the focus on the defendants, was a young man named Justin Barker, who was not involved in the nooses incident three months earlier. According to all the credible evidence I am aware of, after lunch, he walked to his next class. As he passed through the gymnasium door to the outside, he was blindsided and knocked unconscious by a vicious blow to the head thrown by Mychal Bell. While lying on the ground unaware of what was happening to him, he was brutally kicked by at least six people.

Imagine you were walking down a city street, and someone leapt from behind a tree and hit you so hard that you fell to the sidewalk unconscious. Would you later describe that as a fight?

Only the intervention of an uninvolved student protected Mr. Barker from severe injury or death. There was serious bodily harm inflicted with a dangerous weapon — the definition of aggravated second-degree battery. Mr. Bell’s conviction on that charge as an adult has been overturned, but I considered adult status appropriate because of his role as the instigator of the attack, the seriousness of the charge and his prior criminal record.

I can understand the emotions generated by the juxtaposition of the noose incident with the attack on Mr. Barker and the outcomes for the perpetrators of each. In the final analysis, though, I am bound to enforce the laws of Louisiana as they exist today, not as they might in someone’s vision of a perfect world.

That is what I have done. And that is what I must continue to do.

ETA: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/26/opinion/26walters.html?ex=1348545600&en=cc3f51e0835ee8c7&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink


end of story as far as I'm concerned.

I do not find Distrcit Attorney Reed Walter's rendition of the facts persuasive here, nor has he provided any justification whatsoever in this article for his choice of the charge of attempted murder.

EDIT:  after watching CNN this morning I believe I heard something about this prosecutor has decided NOT to try Bell as an adult.  Which begs the question, if he believed that he was doing what was in the best interest of justice then why not continue to prosecute somebody who you feel has, according to you, perpetrated a crime against a helpless victim?   Given this new development, this letter seems more like damage control than anything else.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 27, 2007, 09:36:17 AM
I do not find Distrcit Attorney Reed Walter's rendition of the facts persuasive here, nor has he provided any justification whatsoever in this article for his choice of the charge of attempted murder.

Hear, hear.

I also think the issue about whether the nooses incident was prosecuted is a red herring.*  Informed observers question Mr. Walters' motives because his account of the beating and the attempted murder charge are unprofessionally misleading, he had previously told the black students (and perhaps the white students -- but reports differ) he could take their lives with the "stroke of a pen," his office failed to investigate the two incidents that immediately preceded the beating (the fights at the barn and the supposed "gun theft" at the convenience store**), and he and the police spoke only to white witnesses until the charges were filed (and ignored reports that, for instance, the victim was taunting the Jena 6 by referring to the fights at the barn).


*His description here is also inaccurate: the incident couldn't be prosecuted as a federal hate crime because the boys who hung the nooses were neither adults nor members of an organized group like the KKK, either of which would have qualified this incident as a federal hate crime.  And no, there is no stand-alone hate-crime statute in Louisiana (which I happen think is a good thing), but there were several other charges that could have been investigated, including simple assault, putting another person "in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery" -- or aggravated assault, for that matter, since nooses are indeed dangerous weapons.  There's also terrorizing ("the intentional communication of information... that a circumstance dangerous to human life exists or is about to exist, with the intent of causing members of the general public to be in sustained fear for their safety... or causing other serious disruption to the general public") and institutional vandalism (which can be prosecuted as a hate crime under Louisiana law). I'm not suggesting that all of the elements of proof of these charges were here (I doubt, for instance, that the putative assault victims could be described with sufficient particularity), but to say there was nothing on the books that could be used in the noose incident is misleading.

**This incident in particular is bizarre.  A white student pulled a gun on some black students, and they wrested it away from him and left.  They were charged with theft of the gun, but white student's initial threats, at gunpoint, weren't investigated.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on September 27, 2007, 10:22:50 AM
I actually read an article by someone in the town who said that the "nooses" on the tree were just props for the schools pep week.  They were playing the "Cowboys," and the joke was they would hang them on the trees like they used to do in the wild west.  It had nothing to do with racial animus, and the boys who hung them continue to get threatening phone calls despite their innocent intentions. 

http://southerncrown.blogspot.com/2007/09/jena-louisiana-true-story.html

I agree that the prosecutor's article doesn't settle anything, especially the initial second degree murder charge.  I just posted it because it presented another angle that might be interesting to some people. 

I don't buy it for a second.  Why that tree?  Why not "laso" it around the tree or some other object if they were just messing around?  Timing seems off.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 27, 2007, 10:26:26 AM
I actually read an article by someone in the town who said that the "nooses" on the tree were just props for the schools pep week.  They were playing the "Cowboys," and the joke was they would hang them on the trees like they used to do in the wild west.  It had nothing to do with racial animus, and the boys who hung them continue to get threatening phone calls despite their innocent intentions. 

 

That may be easy to believe for some people, but for black people in the United States, when we hear "Nooses" and "Trees" the image that first comes to mind is no joking matter:


(http://members.aol.com/lupinaccim/lynching.jpg)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on September 27, 2007, 10:47:33 AM
  I'm sure these high school kids didn't share your keen understanding of history, Burning Sands. 

That may be an underestimation on your part.  If you're right, then how do you explain their actions (beating)?  Esp. the timing of their actions?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 27, 2007, 10:48:27 AM
Not saying it wasn't in poor taste.  I'm sure these high school kids didn't share your keen understanding of history, Burning Sands. 

My understanding of history is not all that keen, but one doesn't exactly need a keen sense of history to know what nooses hanging from trees means. Your average joe still knows what that means even in 2007.  Especially if you grew up in the South.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on September 27, 2007, 10:54:49 AM
Not saying it wasn't in poor taste.  I'm sure these high school kids didn't share your keen understanding of history, Burning Sands. 

My understanding of history is not all that keen, but one doesn't exactly need a keen sense of history to know what nooses hanging from trees means. Your average joe still knows what that means even in 2007.  Especially if you grew up in the South.

Right.  Even if you didn't grow up in the south, if you have a modicum of common sense, you know you don't do that *&^% and not expect people--especially blk ppl--to get angry.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: credo on September 27, 2007, 11:18:13 AM
OK, the official Burning-Sands-clearly-needs-to-start-working-at-the-firm-because-he-has-too-much-time-on-his-hands brief.  My 2 cents worth of analysis on the aforementioned Jena 6 issue.  I woulda kicked it out sooner but I had to go catch a drink with the fellas.  Note to self, don't drink and do legal research!

Long story short, looks like both Miss P and Credo were right.  You can infer intent for attempted murder, but not in this case.

enjoy:

...

Ha ha nice: putting all that education to work.  I think the point that intent for the attempt muder charge has previously only been infered from use of weapons is pretty compelling.  Of course it doesnt completely preclude that inference in other situations (even apart from the Jena 6).

Didnt know that about California either, Ill have to check that out. Thanks Sands.  
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on September 27, 2007, 12:23:22 PM
If directly asked, the kids would probably have known nooses were used to kill black people 40+ years ago.  That doesn't mean they were thinking about it when they were doing this pep stunt for their high school (assuming this was the reason for the noose). 

(http://www.uwgb.edu/univcomm/photoblog/images/05competition/lasso.jpg)

Lasso


[img width= height=]http://www.indcjournal.com/archives/noose.jpg[/img]

Noose


Cowboys don't use lassos in trees. Lassos are for cattle. Nooses are for people. Different knots.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on September 27, 2007, 12:27:03 PM
  I'm sure these high school kids didn't share your keen understanding of history, Burning Sands. 

Oh for @#!*'s sake dude - I mean, maybe if the kids grew up in some white, ultra rich suburb down there. Jena is a far cry from that, though.

If directly asked, the kids would probably have known nooses were used to kill black people 40+ years ago.  That doesn't mean they were thinking about it when they were doing this pep stunt for their high school (assuming this was the reason for the noose). 

Dude. Come on.

How about those two douchesacks kids arrested in Alexandria last week for driving around during the demonstrations with nooses tied to the back of their trucks? Did they not know either?

(oh wait, they also had affiliations with the KKK)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on September 27, 2007, 12:29:36 PM
If directly asked, the kids would probably have known nooses were used to kill black people 40+ years ago.  That doesn't mean they were thinking about it when they were doing this pep stunt for their high school (assuming this was the reason for the noose). 

(http://www.uwgb.edu/univcomm/photoblog/images/05competition/lasso.jpg)

Lasso


[img width= height=]http://www.indcjournal.com/archives/noose.jpg[/img]

Noose


Cowboys don't use lassos in trees. Lassos are for cattle. Nooses are for people.

Exactly my point.  The blog mentioned something about "Hang 'em High".  But that was ridiculous.  I just don't think that reasoning flies.  Maybe if they lasso-ed  around the tree it would make sense.  But all the facts indicate otherwise.  The timing, the noose, that particular tree, etc.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Smokey on September 27, 2007, 01:45:11 PM
Not saying it wasn't in poor taste.  I'm sure these high school kids didn't share your keen understanding of history, Burning Sands. 

My understanding of history is not all that keen, but one doesn't exactly need a keen sense of history to know what nooses hanging from trees means. Your average joe still knows what that means even in 2007.  Especially if you grew up in the South.

This is spot on.  Context is key.  Even if nooses were used by cowboys in the wild west, when modern Americans see a nose dangling from a tree they think of racism/lynchings.  And this was taking place in the South... in a town known for its racial divisions!  Similarly if I go to decide to go to school wearing a t-shirt with a swastika on it, no one's going to believe my argument that it's just a Buddhist religious symbol.

I mean, give me a break.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 27, 2007, 02:22:54 PM
OK....I just watched Prosecutor Reed Walter's press conference on CNN...

...I'm heated.


THIS dude made no appology for what he did whatsoever, and kept making these subtle, passive aggressive statements about how if it weren't for the Jena police the thousands of black demonstrators who came to Jena last week would have gotten out of hand.  Moreover, he said that but for the prayers of the Christian people of Jena, last week would have gotten out of hand.

You ever just wanna smack somebody?

I was also mad at the media people in the room who didn't know the right questions to ask.  He explained from the onset that he, the prosecutor, doesn't set the bail and has nothing to do with the bail - that's the judge's decision.  Why did these fucks ask him about the bail like 8 times.  Each time he repeated the same answer: that's the judge's decision.  Judges set bails geniuses.  For the 8th time.  Then one reporter even said flat out that she was unaware of the legal term to use but couldn't the kids who hung the nooses be charged for some kind of starting a riot....

You ever just wanna smack somebody?

Why can't they send some reporters who at least know basic legalese to ask the right questions.  One reporter ALMOST had a decent question but she frased it in a way that allowed him to wiggle his way out; after the prosecutor went on and on about ethics and probable cause, she said "some people say that you violated the ethics that you just described with the attempted murder charge."  To which he easily replied "well I'm not going to comment on what some people say."   

You ever just wanna...well you get the point.


UHHHHHHHHHG!!!!!!!!!!!   >:(
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on September 27, 2007, 02:37:38 PM
kept making these subtle, passive aggressive statements about how if it weren't for the Jena police the thousands of black demonstrators who came to Jena last week would have gotten out of hand.  Moreover, he said that but for the prayers of the Christian people of Jena, last week would have gotten out of hand.

I saw the press conference and was offended at this part, too. I didn't even stick around for the questioning. His "south-shall-rise-again" demeanor made me flip the channel.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 27, 2007, 02:49:11 PM
kept making these subtle, passive aggressive statements about how if it weren't for the Jena police the thousands of black demonstrators who came to Jena last week would have gotten out of hand.  Moreover, he said that but for the prayers of the Christian people of Jena, last week would have gotten out of hand.

I saw the press conference and was offended at this part, too. I didn't even stick around for the questioning. His "south-shall-rise-again" demeanor made me flip the channel.


You hit the nail on the head.  It was difficult to endure.  And the white town folk in the audience kept clapping for everything he said like this man is some type of hero.   He made it very clear that his only concern thoughtout all of the events that have transpired during this fiasco is the white student who was beat up.  That's it.  Everything else would, in his estimation, be going outside the rules of ethics for him to go after as a prosecutor.  WTF?!? 

I'm a pretty patient person and I usually don't sweat the small stuff one way or the other when people state their opinions, beliefs, etc. but this one had me upset.

He has decided not to appeal the La. Ct. App. 3d Circuit opinion that Bell can't be tried as an adult and so the case will procede to juvenile court as it should have from the very beginning.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 28, 2007, 12:15:17 AM
Ha ha nice: putting all that education to work.  I think the point that intent for the attempt muder charge has previously only been infered from use of weapons is pretty compelling.  Of course it doesnt completely preclude that inference in other situations (even apart from the Jena 6).

I read it differently: when intent on an attempted murder charge is to be inferred from a weapon, that weapon must be a deadly one.  Oh, well.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on September 28, 2007, 11:39:56 AM
You ever just wanna smack somebody?


hilarious.  how do u really feel?

Not saying it wasn't in poor taste.  I'm sure these high school kids didn't share your keen understanding of history, Burning Sands. 

My understanding of history is not all that keen, but one doesn't exactly need a keen sense of history to know what nooses hanging from trees means. Your average joe still knows what that means even in 2007.  Especially if you grew up in the South.

This is spot on.  Context is key.  Even if nooses were used by cowboys in the wild west, when modern Americans see a nose dangling from a tree they think of racism/lynchings.  And this was taking place in the South... in a town known for its racial divisions!  Similarly if I go to decide to go to school wearing a t-shirt with a swastika on it, no one's going to believe my argument that it's just a Buddhist religious symbol.

I mean, give me a break.

Agreed.  I'm still stuck on nooses = wild west.  The avg citizen, black , white, or other does not associate nooses with the wild west.  Even if they did ::), the manner in which they were hung screams more "jim crow" than "clint eastwood"
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 28, 2007, 01:42:59 PM
No that's my typo.  I should have said "dangerous" weapon instead of deadly. 

As far as Credo's post - no we're saying the same thing.  Literally anything could become a "dangerous weapon" based on the circumstances.  The real question becomes - is it a "dangerous weapon" for battery purposes or for attempted murder purposes? 

What is important for us to note here is that, for attempted murder charges, the cases generally invovled dangerous weapons that were likely to produce death AND which were used in a manner that would likely produce death.  That would rule out Tennis Shoes for attmpted murder. 

For the battery cases, most of them did not invovle a "dangerous weapon" at all, and if they did, the "dangerous weapon" was something along the lines of the shoes which, in all likelihood, would be more likely to cause a black eye rather than cause death.   Even in the cases like Guin and Linear, the defendant was actually using a conventional "dangerous weapon" that we would all agree is a dangerous weapon in the common sense meaning of the word such as a knife or a gun but, because their intent was clearly to cause bodily harm and not death, a charge of attempted murder could not be sustained.  So it appears that the common theme in LA when it comes to weapons and attempted murder revolves around two things:

#1 - a conventional weapon that will likely kill somebody (ie. gun, knife, bomb, lead pipe)
#2 - using that weapon in a manner that will likely kill sombody

Throughout my extensive searches of the Westlaw and LexisNexis databases, I saw no case sustaining an attempted murder charge in Louisiana where the only "dangerous weapon" involved was a shoe.  Maybe I missed it.  I guess I can keep looking. :P

Yes, I think this is exactly right.  Here's an explanation coming from a different angle:

Use of a "dangerous weapon" is an element of aggravated battery in Louisiana.  "Dangerous weapon" is defined by the statute as "any gas, liquid or other substance or instrumentality, which, in the manner used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm." La.R.S. 14:2(A)(3). For the purposes of an aggravated battery conviction, the dangerous weapon used can be one that (as used) is intended or likely to cause death OR great bodily harm.   (This makes sense because while Louisiana battery and assault law is defined in terms of the instrumentality, common law aggravated battery is often defined in terms of the injury, as battery that causes great bodily harm.)

Use of a "dangerous weapon" is not an element of attempted second-degree (reckless) murder.  It is, rather, a judge-made standard about the kind of evidence from which the factfinder can infer intent to kill -- which is an element of the crime.  Thus, in an attempted murder case, the dangerous weapon must be one that (as used) is likely to cause death, not merely a weapon that (as used) is likely to cause great bodily harm short of death.  Otherwise, the weapon couldn't be offered as proof of intent to kill as opposed to proof of intent to cause great bodily harm (which is not sufficient to make out an attempted second-degree murder case).  

Sands may have meant to type "dangerous weapon" instead of "deadly weapon," but I actually think that a real distinction lurked beneath the slip.

EDIT

Could the prosecutor infer an attempt to kill from the circumstances surrounding the event? He seems to be making that claim in the NYT op/ed:

Quote
Only the intervention of an uninvolved student protected Mr. Barker from severe injury or death.

I don't think making that inference is an egregious misinterpretation of the facts at hand; a 6-on-1 beating from behind by thugs with a criminal record and a reputation for violence, only broken up due to the involvement of an uninvolved spectator, would certainly persuade me that the boys were attempting to kill the victim.

I think reasonable people can differ on this interpretation, though, which is why I'm not sure that the prosecutor should face charges of misconduct. It isn't as if he charged the Jena 6 with grand theft auto or something; an attempted murder charge may be somewhat supported by what he knew of the facts of the case at the time of the charge. I'd be interested to see when the charge was first filed, and when the charge was changed to aggravated battery.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 28, 2007, 01:57:23 PM
**This incident in particular is bizarre.  A white student pulled a gun on some black students, and they wrested it away from him and left.  They were charged with theft of the gun, but white student's initial threats, at gunpoint, weren't investigated.

I don't think this incident is bizarre at all. The white student had likely been involved in Justin Sloan's assault on Robert Bailey. When Robert Bailey approached the white student with his friends, the white student likely anticipated trouble, especially since Robert Bailey's friends were known as troublemakers.  Assuming that the white student was by himself, he probably wanted to even the odds in any altercation that could break out, so he ran to arm himself.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/03/AR2007080302098_2.html

I'd wager that defending yourself with a firearm in a scenario where you face an altercation in which the opposing party has an advantage in disparity in force is not against any law.

This assessment would be different, though, if the white student, and not Robert Bailey & co, had instigated the encounter.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 28, 2007, 01:59:17 PM
My take is simply, that the prosecutor has a history of "handily looking the other way" or "throwing the total book at him" depending on his personal preferences, and in direct parallel to the race of the defendant.

That's a pretty severe allegation. Do you have any evidence to back it up?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 28, 2007, 02:08:33 PM
John Hawkins brought up a good point about the "end your lives with a stroke of a pen" statement:

Quote
After this event occurred, racial tensions unsurprisingly ratcheted up several notches at the high school. A building was burned down. Fights broke out. Prosecutor Reed Walters went to the school and told the entire student body that, "I can end your life with the stroke of a pen," as part of an effort to stop the violence.

See http://www.townhall.com/columnists/JohnHawkins/2007/09/28/what_they_don%e2%80%99t_want_you_to_know_about_the_jena_6_case (and refrain from commenting upon the site, as I know that some of the material hosted there would offend you - as some of it offends me)

What if that statement was merely intended to bring to the attention of the high schoolers that the DA was sick of the violence that was occurring in Jena, and therefore was ready to enforce the law, in an effort to reduce that violence? This explanation would fit the facts as well as the explanation that he made the statement to intimidate black students.

Can anyone provide more information about the context of this statement?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 28, 2007, 02:59:53 PM
My take is simply, that the prosecutor has a history of "handily looking the other way" or "throwing the total book at him" depending on his personal preferences, and in direct parallel to the race of the defendant.

That's a pretty severe allegation. Do you have any evidence to back it up?

Yes but I'm keeping it secret.  ::)

Are you working with Miss P on her pro-bono project?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 28, 2007, 04:20:45 PM

I think reasonable people can differ on this interpretation, though, which is why I'm not sure that the prosecutor should face charges of misconduct. It isn't as if he charged the Jena 6 with grand theft auto or something; an attempted murder charge may be somewhat supported by what he knew of the facts of the case at the time of the charge. I'd be interested to see when the charge was first filed, and when the charge was changed to aggravated battery.


Have to strongly disagree. A biased mind would differ on this interpretation, but not a reasonable mind.

I was talking to one of my friends today who is a prosecutor and I was curious to hear his opinion on the matter having worked at the DA's office for 2 years now, and in his experience he strongly felt that the charge of attempted murder was not only, to use his words, "a stretch," but also he thought it didn't make any practical sense because at the end of the day, as a prosecutor, you have an even higher standard to prove when you actually argue the charge in court.  Therefore, it doesn't make any sense to bring a charge you know is not supported by the evidence even if it wasn't against the code of professional conduct and ethics. (which it is)


Can one reasonably believe, given all the events that took place in this series of events, that Reed Walters was not motivated by his biases at all in the handling (or not handling) of these cases?


FYI: it is against the law for the kid to have a gun at the quick shop in the first place.  Louisiana, like many other states, requires a permit in order to carry a gun and in order to get a permit in Louisiana, like many other states, you must be 21. Most high school students are no older than 18. If you are not 21, then you need to be prosecuted for illegally carrying a firearm in public.  But I guess our reasonable Jena prosecutor simply forgot about that little rule during his extensive research on attempted murder.


Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 28, 2007, 05:44:16 PM
I was talking to one of my friends today who is a prosecutor and I was curious to hear his opinion on the matter having worked at the DA's office for 2 years now, and in his experience he strongly felt that the charge of attempted murder was not only, to use his words, "a stretch," but also he thought it didn't make any practical sense because at the end of the day, as a prosecutor, you have an even higher standard to prove when you actually argue the charge in court.  Therefore, it doesn't make any sense to bring a charge you know is not supported by the evidence even if it wasn't against the code of professional conduct and ethics. (which it is)


Can one reasonably believe, given all the events that took place in this series of events, that Reed Walters was not motivated by his biases at all in the handling (or not handling) of these cases?

I certainly agree with you that concluding that Reed Walters had selectively chosen which cases to prosecute and on what charges would be in line with the facts, as I know them, so far. But I think the alternative explanation I had proposed is also in line with the facts, as I know them, so far, which is why I put forward this hypothetical.

Knowing what Reed Walters knew when he originally charged the boys with attempted murder, and what he knew when he reduced the charges, would go a long way towards showing whether or not is originally charges were motivated by bias or by having a murky understanding of the facts of the incident.

If it can be shown that Mr. Walters very clearly knew at the time he made the charge of attempted murder that this charge would not be supported by the facts he knew at the time, then it is likely that he made that charge out of bias.

But if distinguishing that the charge should be aggravated batter, and not attempted murder, can only be made through a thorough legal analysis of similar cases, then I think it's likelier that Mr. Walters did not act out of bias, but in response to his professional judgment of likely charges based on what he knew of facts at the time.

It's one thing to charge a defendant when a prosecutor has a thorough understanding of the incident, and ample time to investigate related case law, but it's another thing to charge him when the prosecutor is only beginning his investigation.

As I mentioned above, I'm interested in knowing when the charges were levied, and upon what evidence known at the time.

FYI: it is against the law for the kid to have a gun at the quick shop in the first place.  Louisiana, like many other states, requires a permit in order to carry a gun and in order to get a permit in Louisiana, like many other states, you must be 21. Most high school students are no older than 18. If you are not 21, then you need to be prosecuted for illegally carrying a firearm in public.  But I guess our reasonable Jena prosecutor simply forgot about that little rule during his extensive research on attempted murder.

Louisiana law does not prevent a minor from posessing a shotgun. See http://www.lcav.org/states/louisiana.asp#MinimumAgetoPurchasePossess

And, if I correctly remember my Boy Scout rifle shooting merit badge class, for most jurisdictions that require the posessor of a gun to be at least a certain age, that age is 18, not 21.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 28, 2007, 05:46:07 PM
Honestly, I'm just being mostly flip and silly. My comment about keeping evidence secret is strict sarcasm.

Oh, my mistake. I honestly thought you could be working with Miss P :)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on September 28, 2007, 06:14:12 PM
Honestly, I'm just being mostly flip and silly. My comment about keeping evidence secret is strict sarcasm.

To forestall any potential miscommunication, I should say that I haven't read most of this thread closely at all. I did read the prosecutor's op-ed / letter-to-editor piece as quoted somewhere here at LSD, and found it very much to the point (though rather obvious if you know jack-squat about the rule of law) and a clear justification of choices made thus far. It therefore could be said to adequately address legal complaints about his legal choices.

However, I also have followed the story itself very closely, and not just through CNN. I am a resident of New Orleans and the child of life-long journalists, so I'm in the privileged position of personally knowing reporters who are on the legal and race beats for major dailies in and around here, and for wire services. In conversations with them, I've gotten the distinct impression that these rather sanguine, intelligent individuals were quite surprised to find, when they started their research, that there was a remarkably poor track record of the entire district on race-based allegations. I think these journalists are TRYING to write the "real story" of a history of long-standing comfort with all subjective judgments and prosecutorial discretion calls all going the way for whites and against blacks, but these journalists haven't yet come up with juuust quite enough evidence to make it stick sufficiently to put it in the paper. My anecdotal view of the Jena case would be, that this interpretation (longstanding systemic racism being a consistent problem) probably holds more water than most other interpretations, and that therefore the rabble-rousing (and admittedly legally rather leaky) calls for action from the civil rights leaders, actually, though they may have very little standing in the strictest sense of following the procedures and laws, genuinely do have a great deal of moral and ethical standing relative to the greater picture.

I can't support most of these statements I've just made. I'm just expressing what I have found to be my opinion, as it developed over the preceding weeks, and as it was directed by conversations with "people on the ground." And knowing what often goes on in that part of the state, I'd have to say, I'm not surprised. I don't really defend the actions of the kids who cold-cocked the initial victim. In fact, a real culprit in this entire case is the school administration, which failed to take opportunity to defuse the obviously problematic situation long before it turned into a life-threatening violent confrontation. The black "hero" of the football team asked, then demanded, the opportunity to sit under the tree. The principal just assumed the kid would accept his pronouncement that blacks aren't welcome under that tree. In my experience, few young males on football teams take "no" for an answer very well in teh first place. What was the principal thinking? "Oh, just some darkie gettin' uppity. Tell 'em to back down, show 'em some force, they toe the line soon 'nuf."? That's a clear implication. I'd like to hear him defend himself.

Inept school administration doesn't defend the idea that anyone might undertake violent attacks. But they were, after all, kids. Angry kids in a tension-filled environment. Then the prosecutor chose to charge them as adults (contrary to very clear guidelines) in a manner not ever done in his district for whites, and regularly done in his district for blacks.

All of the above concerns me. Where were the responsible adults when responsibility could have been taken? The principal could have tried to defuse the situation, and certainly should have looked into "equal tree access," well before anger or violence erupted. The noose-hangers should darn well have known that a noose represents a symbol of lynching, therefore represents white hate against blacks. The black kids who ambushed white victims should have darn well known their violent attack was a crime and should be punished suitably. The white families that foster further hatred and racism should have their children re-trained at the hands of a more tolerant relative somewhere. The prosecutor who (evidently) loves to make blacks cringe and doesn't understand that his vigor and zeal is consistently one-sided needs to have his own choices clearly illuminated by responsible journalists so that he can no longer choose poorly with impunity. (The office of public defender is a public office. It serves not just the law, but the whole public interest, in some manner. Drawing the line is quite difficult. It's a judgment call. His judgment sucks.)

But all those "should" selections, I'm addressing the moral issue, not the legal one. I don't claim I know the laws, and I'm sure that legally speaking, at least one legal outcome was arrived at quite legally. The punishment of violent offenders who admit to crimes is a duty of a prosecutor. Maybe the greatest regret Jena will have over the bungled handling of this case will be, that a KNOWN VIOLENT OFFENDER will be let off lightly, and perhaps (young foolish man that he is) learn the mistaken lesson that he can get away with violence again in the future, or that he can use his "race card" to allow him to do so.

Sad situation all 'round. I blame (mostly) the prosecutor for his history of poor and biased choices; and the school administration for being willing to drop the ball so readily and look the other way often enough that it got to be too late before the worst happened. And the kids, both sides, who choose confrontation over negotiation. But they're HIGH SCHOOL KIDS fer chrissakes! What did you want, common sense?




Just making sure people saw the bolded.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 28, 2007, 06:51:04 PM
And who IS Miss P anyway?

Dang, son.

Thanks for doing all that work, Sands.  Now we know why you're in line to make the big bucks! :)

A few people asked me questions, either indirectly or directly, and I believe Sands mostly answered them (more accurately and precisely than I would have) except for Pseudo Nym's question about prosecutorial bias.  Unfortunately, I can't talk about my research because my team is under a confidentiality agreement, but I think there is a good amount of evidence of bias in the public view, including the "stroke of a pen" incident and the failure to investigate related incidents.  I'm sorry I can't be more helpful.  :-\

See http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,93553.75.html
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on September 29, 2007, 03:24:52 PM
Louisiana law does not prevent a minor from posessing a shotgun. See http://www.lcav.org/states/louisiana.asp#MinimumAgetoPurchasePossess

And, if I correctly remember my Boy Scout rifle shooting merit badge class, for most jurisdictions that require the posessor of a gun to be at least a certain age, that age is 18, not 21.

Not so fast there.  I disintinctly remember reading a report that the gun in question was a pistol grip shotgun.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12353776


And even if it was a shotgun in the traditional sense, using it in an altercation is more likely to produce attempted murder charges than are tennis shoes.  Although there are some conflicting reports on what happened here exactly, this incident was not nearly pursued by the prosecutor with the same vigor as the incident involving the assault on the white student.

Res ipsa loquitur.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 29, 2007, 10:32:22 PM
Could the prosecutor infer an attempt to kill from the circumstances surrounding the event? He seems to be making that claim in the NYT op/ed:

Quote
Only the intervention of an uninvolved student protected Mr. Barker from severe injury or death.

I don't think making that inference is an egregious misinterpretation of the facts at hand; a 6-on-1 beating from behind by thugs with a criminal record and a reputation for violence, only broken up due to the involvement of an uninvolved spectator, would certainly persuade me that the boys were attempting to kill the victim.

I think reasonable people can differ on this interpretation, though, which is why I'm not sure that the prosecutor should face charges of misconduct. It isn't as if he charged the Jena 6 with grand theft auto or something; an attempted murder charge may be somewhat supported by what he knew of the facts of the case at the time of the charge. I'd be interested to see when the charge was first filed, and when the charge was changed to aggravated battery.

Yes, Walters (or, more accurately, the jury/judge) could infer intent to kill from any type of evidence, including the level of violence and aggression in the attack.   He would need to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the boys intended to kill Barker.  The standard for inferring such intent from the attack itself would be whether the boys' actions were ones that would, to a probable certainty, result in death.  The "probable certainty" standard is obviously fuzzy, but it includes things like poisoning and shooting at close range (where the victim miraculously survives).  It is, of course, nearly impossible to prove that an act would cause death to a probable certainty when the victim does not die and did not suffer critical injuries (and miraculously survive).  Thus, more evidence is always required to infer intent in an attempted second-degree murder case where the victim was not on the edge of death.  This evidence could be in the form of threats, plans to kill, or confessions, for instance.

I have never read anywhere other than Walters' op-ed that "only the intervention of an uninvolved student prevented serious injury or even death," and eyewitness reports about the incident vary widely.  If Walters could prove that the boys' actions would, to a probable certainty, have caused death (not serious injury) but for this purported intervention, then he may have been able to make out an attempted second-degree murder case.  Nonetheless, it would have been a very weak one absent independent evidence about the boys' intent to kill.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on September 29, 2007, 10:33:06 PM
Are you working with Miss P on her pro-bono project?

Heh.  I deserve it, I suppose. ;)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 30, 2007, 11:40:10 AM
Louisiana law does not prevent a minor from posessing a shotgun. See http://www.lcav.org/states/louisiana.asp#MinimumAgetoPurchasePossess

And, if I correctly remember my Boy Scout rifle shooting merit badge class, for most jurisdictions that require the posessor of a gun to be at least a certain age, that age is 18, not 21.

Not so fast there.  I disintinctly remember reading a report that the gun in question was a pistol grip shotgun.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12353776

If true, would the fact that the shotgun had a pistol grip require that its bearer be over 18 years of age? I assume that the reason why handguns are restricted in Louisiana is due to their portability and concealability, which is the rationale behind why several states have laws requiring shotguns to be a certain length. I'm willing to bet that the grip used on the shotgun has little effect on how the law restricts its bearership.

You can see a picture of a pistol-grip shotgun at: http://www.softairpro.com/airgun_gallery/files/thumbs/t_17195_01.jpg

(I say "if true" because the NPR article states that the victim suffered injuries that were "superficial." According to many reports that I've read, the victim incurred $14,000 in medical expenses. You don't spend $14,000 treating superficial injuries - that's enough to purchase a new car. The NPR article is glossing over a few facts.)

And even if it was a shotgun in the traditional sense, using it in an altercation is more likely to produce attempted murder charges than are tennis shoes.  Although there are some conflicting reports on what happened here exactly, this incident was not nearly pursued by the prosecutor with the same vigor as the incident involving the assault on the white student.

Res ipsa loquitur.

Well, the kid never fired the shotgun, so I don't know if you could charge him with attempted murder. And if he was surrounded and outnumbered by presumably hostile people, if I correctly remember what my self-defense-instructor-friend told me, he would be legally justified to draw a firearm.

Why was the the Justin Barker beating more vigorously prosecuted than the altercation at the gas station? Well, for one, the Barker beating occurred in a very public area with plenty of witnesses, not in a gas station. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that there wasn't nearly enough evidence in the gas station incident as in the Barker beating. And the Barker beating resulted in very real, documented injuries, unlike what happened at the gas station.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 30, 2007, 11:52:16 AM
Could the prosecutor infer an attempt to kill from the circumstances surrounding the event? He seems to be making that claim in the NYT op/ed:

Quote
Only the intervention of an uninvolved student protected Mr. Barker from severe injury or death.

I don't think making that inference is an egregious misinterpretation of the facts at hand; a 6-on-1 beating from behind by thugs with a criminal record and a reputation for violence, only broken up due to the involvement of an uninvolved spectator, would certainly persuade me that the boys were attempting to kill the victim.

I think reasonable people can differ on this interpretation, though, which is why I'm not sure that the prosecutor should face charges of misconduct. It isn't as if he charged the Jena 6 with grand theft auto or something; an attempted murder charge may be somewhat supported by what he knew of the facts of the case at the time of the charge. I'd be interested to see when the charge was first filed, and when the charge was changed to aggravated battery.

Yes, Walters (or, more accurately, the jury/judge) could infer intent to kill from any type of evidence, including the level of violence and aggression in the attack.   He would need to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the boys intended to kill Barker.  The standard for inferring such intent from the attack itself would be whether the boys' actions were ones that would, to a probable certainty, result in death.  The "probable certainty" standard is obviously fuzzy, but it includes things like poisoning and shooting at close range (where the victim miraculously survives).  It is, of course, nearly impossible to prove that an act would cause death to a probable certainty when the victim does not die and did not suffer critical injuries (and miraculously survive).  Thus, more evidence is always required to infer intent in an attempted second-degree murder case where the victim was not on the edge of death.  This evidence could be in the form of threats, plans to kill, or confessions, for instance.

I have never read anywhere other than Walters' op-ed that "only the intervention of an uninvolved student prevented serious injury or even death," and eyewitness reports about the incident vary widely.  If Walters could prove that the boys' actions would, to a probable certainty, have caused death (not serious injury) but for this purported intervention, then he may have been able to make out an attempted second-degree murder case.  Nonetheless, it would have been a very weak one absent independent evidence about the boys' intent to kill.

Yeah, I agree that in retrospect, the likelihood that the prosecutor could successfully convict the Jena 6 on attempted murder charges was slim. But what if the prosecutor didn't have enough facts to recognize that, at the time he made the charges, the facts didn't fully support the charge? A less thorough understanding of what occurred could certainly suggest that an attempted murder charge might be warranted, unlike, say, a charge for rape or grand theft auto, which clearly would not be supported by any accounts of the incident.

I'm not arguing that what the Jena 6 did amounted to attempted murder, but that the prosecutor's initially charging them with attempted murder doesn't amount to prosecutorial misconduct, since that charge was suggested by the *initial* accounts of the incident. A later, better understanding of what happened, and how those facts should be interpreted through statutes and case law, should support or refute the idea that the attempted murder charges are warranted, but shouldn't be used to evaluate whether or not the prosecutor misbehaved, since that evaluation should me made according to the understanding of facts and laws the prosecutor had at the time of the charging.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: ! B L U E WAR R I O R..! on September 30, 2007, 10:46:58 PM


seems to me that if we do unto others as we would have them do unto ourselves...this would have been a non issue...

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on September 30, 2007, 11:17:21 PM


seems to me that if we do unto others as we would have them do unto ourselves...this would have been a non issue...



"If men were angels, no government would be necessary."
- The Federalist, #51
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on October 01, 2007, 10:01:02 AM
Louisiana law does not prevent a minor from posessing a shotgun. See http://www.lcav.org/states/louisiana.asp#MinimumAgetoPurchasePossess

And, if I correctly remember my Boy Scout rifle shooting merit badge class, for most jurisdictions that require the posessor of a gun to be at least a certain age, that age is 18, not 21.

Not so fast there.  I disintinctly remember reading a report that the gun in question was a pistol grip shotgun.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12353776

If true, would the fact that the shotgun had a pistol grip require that its bearer be over 18 years of age? I assume that the reason why handguns are restricted in Louisiana is due to their portability and concealability, which is the rationale behind why several states have laws requiring shotguns to be a certain length. I'm willing to bet that the grip used on the shotgun has little effect on how the law restricts its bearership.

You can see a picture of a pistol-grip shotgun at: http://www.softairpro.com/airgun_gallery/files/thumbs/t_17195_01.jpg

(I say "if true" because the NPR article states that the victim suffered injuries that were "superficial." According to many reports that I've read, the victim incurred $14,000 in medical expenses. You don't spend $14,000 treating superficial injuries - that's enough to purchase a new car. The NPR article is glossing over a few facts.)

And even if it was a shotgun in the traditional sense, using it in an altercation is more likely to produce attempted murder charges than are tennis shoes.  Although there are some conflicting reports on what happened here exactly, this incident was not nearly pursued by the prosecutor with the same vigor as the incident involving the assault on the white student.

Res ipsa loquitur.

Well, the kid never fired the shotgun, so I don't know if you could charge him with attempted murder. And if he was surrounded and outnumbered by presumably hostile people, if I correctly remember what my self-defense-instructor-friend told me, he would be legally justified to draw a firearm.

Why was the the Justin Barker beating more vigorously prosecuted than the altercation at the gas station? Well, for one, the Barker beating occurred in a very public area with plenty of witnesses, not in a gas station. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that there wasn't nearly enough evidence in the gas station incident as in the Barker beating. And the Barker beating resulted in very real, documented injuries, unlike what happened at the gas station.

You're right, you are out on a limb.

I hope you're merely playing devil's advocate here and not actually believing that there was even a modicum of evidence justifying an attempted murder charge for the black teenagers based on these facts, but no foul play by the white students whatsoever.  If you do, then your logic parallels DA Reed Walters, in which case, logic, ehtics, professional conduct and the law are pretty much all out the window anyway.  But based on your response to Miss P, it looks like you're just fleshing out the issue from the other perspective.

In which case, you bring up the question of what if the case looked like attemtpted murder from the initial police report.  These things happen...within reason.  This raises an even more interesting point than what you probably intended.  If somebody like....say....the average reasonably prudent person is reading that police report - they see a battery from one kid to another kid.  If, on the other hand, somebody like...say....Reed Walters reads that report, he sees black kids trying to murder a white kid.  Wonder why that is?

As I understand it, he actually raised the charge to attempted murder from battery at some point before it was more reasonably placed back down to battery.







Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on October 02, 2007, 01:43:22 AM

You're right, you are out on a limb.

I hope you're merely playing devil's advocate here and not actually believing that there was even a modicum of evidence justifying an attempted murder charge for the black teenagers based on these facts, but no foul play by the white students whatsoever.  If you do, then your logic parallels DA Reed Walters, in which case, logic, ehtics, professional conduct and the law are pretty much all out the window anyway.  But based on your response to Miss P, it looks like you're just fleshing out the issue from the other perspective.

In which case, you bring up the question of what if the case looked like attemtpted murder from the initial police report.  These things happen...within reason.  This raises an even more interesting point than what you probably intended.  If somebody like....say....the average reasonably prudent person is reading that police report - they see a battery from one kid to another kid.  If, on the other hand, somebody like...say....Reed Walters reads that report, he sees black kids trying to murder a white kid.  Wonder why that is?

Justin Barker ended up with blood clots in his eyes and a $14,000 medical bill. In contrast, nobody was hurt in the gas station incident. That the former incident was more thoroughly investigated than the latter shouldn't really be a point of contention. And the seriousness of Barker's injuries would support the idea that the Jena 6 were trying to kill him; it's not as if Barker walked away with only a bloody nose.

As I understand it, he actually raised the charge to attempted murder from battery at some point before it was more reasonably placed back down to battery.

Maybe Reed Walters saw the extent of Barker's injuries, heard the preliminary testimony, and then thought that attempted murder would be a defendable charge? That conclusion would be as congruent with the facts as concluding his choice in charges was motivated by racism.

It may very well be that Walters was motivated by racism, but what really troubles me is that the people out to lynch him aren't even entertaining the idea that an alternative explanation may be at play.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 02, 2007, 07:18:57 AM
but what really troubles me is that the people out to lynch him aren't even entertaining the idea that an alternative explanation may be at play.

What a charming turn of phrase....

Although I suppose only those with an exceptionally keen grasp of history would know its origins.

I just don't understand why you're so convinced that no one protesting the incident has considered that there are alternative explanations. Yes, it's possible that every single one of the seemingly related incidents has an innocent explanation, and that not a single action has been motivated by racism, either conscious or unconscious. I just think that given the fairly thoughtful discussion in this thread, there is evidence that even people who have really thought hard about the prosecutor's actions, and possible explanations for why they could be legitimate, might still have some misgivings about the whole scene. It seems that reports of the facts are somewhat muddled and contradictory, and easy for both sides to spin. I don't think there's any perfectly clear answer about what happened. But I still don't think the fact that maybe, possibly, if you really try to find a way, the prosecutor's actions could be deemed unimpeachable means that it's a done deal, and there's nothing left to discuss, or that all protesters are hopelessly biased and unthinking.

Fantastic post.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on October 02, 2007, 12:48:08 PM
but what really troubles me is that the people out to lynch him aren't even entertaining the idea that an alternative explanation may be at play.

What a charming turn of phrase....

Although I suppose only those with an exceptionally keen grasp of history would know its origins.

I just don't understand why you're so convinced that no one protesting the incident has considered that there are alternative explanations. Yes, it's possible that every single one of the seemingly related incidents has an innocent explanation, and that not a single action has been motivated by racism, either conscious or unconscious. I just think that given the fairly thoughtful discussion in this thread, there is evidence that even people who have really thought hard about the prosecutor's actions, and possible explanations for why they could be legitimate, might still have some misgivings about the whole scene. It seems that reports of the facts are somewhat muddled and contradictory, and easy for both sides to spin. I don't think there's any perfectly clear answer about what happened. But I still don't think the fact that maybe, possibly, if you really try to find a way, the prosecutor's actions could be deemed unimpeachable means that it's a done deal, and there's nothing left to discuss, or that all protesters are hopelessly biased and unthinking.

I admit, I probably overreacted to Burning Sands's insinuation that I had no grasp of "logic, ethics, professional conduct and the law." If I had kept a cooler head after being accused of such, I probably would have, as I should have, qualified my post to not insinuate that all protesters or people sharing similar convictions were intentionally disregarding pertinent facts.

I do have a general impression that in this case, political activists are quick to allege racism and quick to substitute rhetoric for examination of evidence, but certainly, not everyone who shares opinions similar to those of the activists share this propensity, as evidenced by this thread. Sorry if I've offended you, or anyone, with my sweeping insinuation.

(And yes, I do know the historical origins of the term "lynch.")
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on October 02, 2007, 12:56:04 PM
Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks the shotgun incident arose out of the white student attempting to defend himself, rather than out of the white student instigating a altercation with Bailey:

Quote
According to CNN, the shotgun incident took place at a “convenience store in a predominantly black part of Jena.” The Jena Times says:

The victim, Matt Windham, alleges that three black males attacked and robbed him while the three accused are claiming self-defense.

According to CNN, Windham

would later tell police he felt threatened by three black students. Windham hurried to his pickup truck and returned with his shotgun. Three black students wrestled it away from him.

What really happened? I have no idea. But according to the Jena Times story:

Both the victim and those arrested offered different statements to the police, however, eye witnesses to the event unrelated to the victim or those arrested, gave a report of the incident that corresponded with the victim[’s].

It could be that the Jena Times is a racially biased paper. It could be that the independent witnesses didn’t say what the paper claims they say — or, if they do, it could be that they are lying are wrong. Let me be perfectly clear: I have absolutely no idea what really happened.

(See http://patterico.com/2007/09/22/reynolds-and-balko-on-the-jena-6/)

A person instigating an armed confrontation with 3 people with whom he could reasonably expect a violent altercation, based on events prior to the confrontation, probably wouldn't confront them with an unloaded firearm.

In other words, if you're going to pick a 1-on-3 fight while packing heat, wouldn't you load the weapon before starting the fight?

Since the white student's firearm was unloaded, that leads me to believe that he didn't instigate the incident, which lends support to the theory that he was reacting to being confronted by Bailey and his friends, and pulled his shotgun in self-defense.

The Jena Times story seems to collaborate this account of the incident, which is probably why the DA didn't press charges against the white student.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on October 02, 2007, 01:41:04 PM
Quote
According to CNN, the shotgun incident took place at a “convenience store in a predominantly black part of Jena.” The Jena Times says:

The victim, Matt Windham, alleges that three black males attacked and robbed him while the three accused are claiming self-defense.

According to CNN, Windham would later tell police he felt threatened by three black students. Windham hurried to his pickup truck and returned with his shotgun. Three black students wrestled it away from him.

What really happened? I have no idea. But according to the Jena Times story:

Both the victim and those arrested offered different statements to the police, however, eye witnesses to the event unrelated to the victim or those arrested, gave a report of the incident that corresponded with the victim[’s].

It could be that the Jena Times is a racially biased paper. It could be that the independent witnesses didn’t say what the paper claims they say — or, if they do, it could be that they are lying are wrong. Let me be perfectly clear: I have absolutely no idea what really happened.

(See http://patterico.com/2007/09/22/reynolds-and-balko-on-the-jena-6/)

A person instigating an armed confrontation with 3 people with whom he could reasonably expect a violent altercation, based on events prior to the confrontation, probably wouldn't confront them with an unloaded firearm.

In other words, if you're going to pick a 1-on-3 fight while packing heat, wouldn't you load the weapon before starting the fight?

Since the white student's firearm was unloaded, that leads me to believe that he didn't instigate the incident, which lends support to the theory that he was reacting to being confronted by Bailey and his friends, and pulled his shotgun in self-defense.

The Jena Times story seems to collaborate this account of the incident, which is probably why the DA didn't press charges against the white student.

Let me get this straight...

Based on the information you provide:

(1) Mr. Windham felt threatened, so
(2) Mr. Windham went to his pickup truck.
(3) Mr. Windham RETURNED with an unloaded gun.

If Mr. Windham was acting in self-defense, why didn't Mr. Windham drive away since he was at his pick-up truck? Why did he return? Asking why the gun wasn't loaded seems pretty weak.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 02, 2007, 03:44:48 PM
The sad thing to me is that the once noble civil rights movement has had to sink to protesting in the defense of violent high school kids.

The origins of the civil rights movement were largely in defending people who were accused of -- and sometimes guilty of -- crimes and asking for fair treatment and fair laws.  I don't see what's wrong with this unless you believe somehow that such people should be given something less than the slate of rights given to others.  The grave punishments inflicted on offenders, the collateral consequences of convictions, the social messages prosecutions transmit, and disproportionate investigations, arrests, convictions, and sentences of black and brown men and boys combine to make criminal justice a leading issue in the contemporary civil rights movement.

EDIT
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 02, 2007, 04:04:13 PM
The grave punishments inflicted on offenders, the collateral consequences of convictions, the social messages prosecutions transmit, and disproportionate investigations, arrests, convictions, and sentences of black and brown men and boys combine to make criminal justice a leading issue in the contemporary civil rights movement.

An Asian cabal no doubt.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 02, 2007, 05:56:20 PM
An Asian cabal no doubt.

Eh?

ETA: On second thought, don't answer that.  Go away.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on October 02, 2007, 06:20:40 PM
Quote
According to CNN, the shotgun incident took place at a “convenience store in a predominantly black part of Jena.” The Jena Times says:

The victim, Matt Windham, alleges that three black males attacked and robbed him while the three accused are claiming self-defense.

According to CNN, Windham would later tell police he felt threatened by three black students. Windham hurried to his pickup truck and returned with his shotgun. Three black students wrestled it away from him.

What really happened? I have no idea. But according to the Jena Times story:

Both the victim and those arrested offered different statements to the police, however, eye witnesses to the event unrelated to the victim or those arrested, gave a report of the incident that corresponded with the victim[’s].

It could be that the Jena Times is a racially biased paper. It could be that the independent witnesses didn’t say what the paper claims they say — or, if they do, it could be that they are lying are wrong. Let me be perfectly clear: I have absolutely no idea what really happened.

(See http://patterico.com/2007/09/22/reynolds-and-balko-on-the-jena-6/)

A person instigating an armed confrontation with 3 people with whom he could reasonably expect a violent altercation, based on events prior to the confrontation, probably wouldn't confront them with an unloaded firearm.

In other words, if you're going to pick a 1-on-3 fight while packing heat, wouldn't you load the weapon before starting the fight?

Since the white student's firearm was unloaded, that leads me to believe that he didn't instigate the incident, which lends support to the theory that he was reacting to being confronted by Bailey and his friends, and pulled his shotgun in self-defense.

The Jena Times story seems to collaborate this account of the incident, which is probably why the DA didn't press charges against the white student.

Let me get this straight...

Based on the information you provide:

(1) Mr. Windham felt threatened, so
(2) Mr. Windham went to his pickup truck.
(3) Mr. Windham RETURNED with an unloaded gun.

If Mr. Windham was acting in self-defense, why didn't Mr. Windham drive away since he was at his pick-up truck? Why did he return? Asking why the gun wasn't loaded seems pretty weak.

Hmm, you have a point. I had assumed that Windham had been followed to his truck, and so didn't have time to load his shotgun before it was wrested from him. But this presumed sequence of events is not supported by the report that he had "returned," which implies that Windham had re-instigated the confrontation with Bailey & co.

Here's a few questions whose answers might clear up what happened in that incident:
* Of what was Windham allegedly being robbed? (Robbery of something that wasn't on his person would give Windham a reason to return to confront Bailey, although that would beg the question why the DA didn't charge Bailey with robbery of that thing.)
* Did Windham return to confront Bailey & co, or did they follow him?
* What did the witnesses say to collaborate Windham's account of the events?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 02, 2007, 07:05:07 PM
An Asian cabal no doubt.

Eh?

My point is that racism isn't a particularly salient issue in the United States.

Quote
ETA: On second thought, don't answer that.  Go away.

That must have been quite the loss.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 02, 2007, 07:20:39 PM

My point is that racism isn't a particularly salient issue in the United States.


Well, of course it isn't for you.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on October 02, 2007, 08:15:28 PM
Hmm, you have a point. I had assumed that Windham had been followed to his truck, and so didn't have time to load his shotgun before it was wrested from him. But this presumed sequence of events is not supported by the report that he had "returned," which implies that Windham had re-instigated the confrontation with Bailey & co.

Here's a few questions whose answers might clear up what happened in that incident:
* Of what was Windham allegedly being robbed? (Robbery of something that wasn't on his person would give Windham a reason to return to confront Bailey, although that would beg the question why the DA didn't charge Bailey with robbery of that thing.)
* Did Windham return to confront Bailey & co, or did they follow him?
* What did the witnesses say to collaborate Windham's account of the events?

Many of those facts are in dispute. A fews things that are for certain include:

(1) There was a dispute at a gas station
(2) Mr. Windham had a gun
(3) The three boys notified the police of the incident
(4) Neither the Police nor the Sheriff have the report on file.

hmmmm.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 02, 2007, 08:33:45 PM

My point is that racism isn't a particularly salient issue in the United States.


Well, of course it isn't for you.

Nor for recent African or Caribbean immigrants.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on October 02, 2007, 08:49:52 PM

My point is that racism isn't a particularly salient issue in the United States.


Well, of course it isn't for you.

Nor for recent African or Caribbean immigrants.

that's not totally true
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 02, 2007, 08:58:10 PM
that's not totally true

How's that?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on October 02, 2007, 09:01:19 PM
(4) Neither the Police nor the Sheriff have the report on file.

Are you sure about this? Because that would contradict what the Jena Times had printed in their article, that "Both the victim and those arrested offered different statements to the police, however, eye witnesses to the event unrelated to the victim or those arrested, gave a report of the incident that corresponded with the victim[’s]."
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on October 02, 2007, 09:44:16 PM
(4) Neither the Police nor the Sheriff have the report on file.

Are you sure about this? Because that would contradict what the Jena Times had printed in their article, that "Both the victim and those arrested offered different statements to the police, however, eye witnesses to the event unrelated to the victim or those arrested, gave a report of the incident that corresponded with the victim[’s]."

"Although there were reports of the black students calling the police, there was no report from either the Sheriff's Office or Police Department." - http://www.thetowntalk.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707310322
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 02, 2007, 10:19:14 PM
Nor for recent African or Caribbean immigrants.

Tell it to Abner Louima,  and to the families of Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, and Ousmane Zongo. 

This is a particularly lame argument in the law enforcement context.  Seriously, Bb., you've picked the wrong thread.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 02, 2007, 11:16:07 PM
Tell it to Abner Louima,

Isolated incident.


Quote
Amadou Diallo

All officers acquitted.


Quote
Patrick Dorismond

Accidental

Quote
Ousmane Zongo.


General craziness following a raid; it happens.

Quote
This is a particularly lame argument in the law enforcement context.

These aren't even isolated cases of racism, much less the systemic evidence needed to make racism salient. Quite simply, racism is as much of a problem in the United States as anti-government militias.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on October 03, 2007, 12:45:46 AM
(4) Neither the Police nor the Sheriff have the report on file.

Are you sure about this? Because that would contradict what the Jena Times had printed in their article, that "Both the victim and those arrested offered different statements to the police, however, eye witnesses to the event unrelated to the victim or those arrested, gave a report of the incident that corresponded with the victim[’s]."

"Although there were reports of the black students calling the police, there was no report from either the Sheriff's Office or Police Department." - http://www.thetowntalk.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707310322

Another plausible explanation is that the three boys never notified the police of the incident. Who reported that the black students called the police?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: PNym on October 03, 2007, 12:52:51 AM
http://www.thetowntalk.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707310322

Thanks for linking that article, as it was an informative read.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on October 03, 2007, 02:42:29 AM
The article I quoted must have been written prior to this release. Either way, here are the reports: http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/jena/gottagoincident.pdf.

Matt Windham says that he "started to walk in the store and he saw 3 black boys and one hollered 'We've got action!'." He goes on to say that he saw them running after him "so I turned and sprinted to my truck and got my gun out." The 3 boys were wrestling for the gun, hit Windham in the face, and ran behind the store.

One witness reports that he saw Matt Windham run to his truck and "open up his back door." The other witness just reports that they called the police and saw the boys running away. Shaw and Bailey's reports claim that they acted in self-defense with regards to the gun.

The fight looks to be a continuation from the fight at the barn party; only this time, Matt Windham had a gun. Bailey concedes in his statement that there was definitely going to be a fight. He says, "We [were] beginning to fight. As I approach[ed] Matt, he ran to his truck [and] pulled a gun."

"We've got action!" seems more likely to be a line from the Power Rangers than a part of these kids' vernacular. So I don't believe that was said and thusly, Matt Windham's attempt to label these boys as the aggressors. Based on the reports of Windham, Bailey and Shaw, I do believe that each one perceived the other as the aggressor on sight as a result of the events that transpired at the barn party.

It should also be noted that while there is no minimum age to posses a shotgun in Louisiana, it is illegal to "intentionally possess a firearm while on the premises of an alcoholic beverage outlet." [RS 14:95.5] And being that Windham was at a convenience store, where I'm pretty certain they sale alcohol, he should have at least been charged since the DA has been so inventive with charges.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 03, 2007, 08:38:36 AM

Anyway, I'm out -- there's clearly no more rationality on this issue here than there is in the media and "rallies."  I am impressed by Blue Smoke's observations, though.

I'm impressed with the way in which you ignore certain posts, and select only those in which you can make the points you want to make.

If you're going to issue a statement as you did above, isn't it fair that you actually engage with the dialogue in the thread, instead of pulling aside a few posts and glorifying us with your keen insights?

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 03, 2007, 09:12:38 AM
If a black person beats up my brother, does that give me the right to beat up some other random black person the next week?  And should the white population rally around me for that when I am properly charged?  Clearly not.

Of course not.  No one is saying this.  We have been discussing (thoughtfully, for the most part) whether the charges were proper and how Walters responded to the other incidents.  The question, if it can be narrowed down at all, seems to be if you beat up some other black person and get charged to the fullest extent the law will allow, is it worth looking into why the one who beat up your brother got such a relatively easy deal?  And looking at all the other things that happened around Jena last year gives us some insight into one possible (plausible, I'll add) explanation for the differential treatment.  But we have all been respectful of those who introduce other possibilities (witness how well your friend PN has fared here despite citing to townhall.com, etc.).

But it is obviously difficult for me to fully understand this hypo without understanding what racial identity you are assuming. ;)

Quote from: Lindbergh
Anyway, I'm out -- there's clearly no more rationality on this issue here than there is in the media and "rallies."  I am impressed by Blue Smoke's observations, though.

I don't think you've read the thread very carefully if this is how you'd describe it.  No, the discussion hasn't developed the most compelling case for action (the conversation didn't go in that direction), but it has highlighted some legal problems with the charges against the Jena 6 if nothing else.  There's nothing "irrational" about it -- or certainly no more than in any other thread on a discussion board.  

And tj. is right.  Didn't you learn in your legal writing class that your statement of the facts should include all relevant facts, not just those favorable to your client?  

ETA: Goalie's probably right, and I will likely delete this later.

I don't really want him to come back. The discussion would just go downhill.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 03, 2007, 10:57:56 AM
Final_id, I don't agree with all of what you've said, but I appreciate your thoughtful response, and I'm sorry that I misunderstood you the first time around.

I do agree with this, and it seems to be some common ground for most of the people in this thread (Lindbergh's accusations notwithstanding):

I'd like for him to receive due justice, including both being charged appropriately rather than to an extreme degree merely because blacks get worse treatment in that town than whites.... My protest isn't about the rightness of the black kids to try to kill someone. It's about the idiots in the school administration and the town leadership and the prosecutor's office, who couldn't create a tolerant and tolerable atmosphere in the first place.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 03, 2007, 10:59:31 AM
I would just like to point out that the grammar used in ALL of the written statements was absolutely horrible.  I am assuming that none of the people involved were younger than high schoolers, and some were probably adults.  Maybe racism isn't the main problem, rather, hill-billy illiteracy. 

"I bagged away..." 

"We was..."

"They was..."

And as for the comment about "we've got action", people say all sorts of crap when they are getting ready for a fight.  So it is entirely possible that this was said-especially in the south. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on October 03, 2007, 12:40:18 PM
Not sure if this was posted already but I got this in an email from the 40/40 club:

Jena 6
Activists Call for a Student Walk
Mos Def and other Artists, Students and Activists Call for a Student Walk out on Monday October 1st To Support the Jena 6


Artist/Activist Mos Def, Idris Elba, Common, M1, Talib Kweli, MC Lyte, Pharoahe Monch, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Sankofa Community Empowerment, Change the Game, the National Hip Hop Political Convention, The Hip-Hop Association, Color of Change and student leaders from over 100 campuses call for a National Student Walk-Out on Monday October 1 at 12 noon central time to support the Jena 6, who are being denied their human rights by the Louisiana criminal justice system. 

September 26, 2007 New York - Black and Latino/a artists, activists and students across the country are organizing a national day of support for six Black high school students known as the "Jena 6." Over 100 schools have joined in the call to walk out of classrooms at 12 noon, Central Standard Time on Monday October 1 and rally either on campus or at other designated areas to demand the immediate release of Mychal Bell from jail.

Mos Def, who spearheaded the campaign, said "This is the time for Black people to support the Jena 6, and call attention to the unequal treatment the criminal Justice system is dishing out not only in Jena Louisiana but across this nation.we all live in Jena."

The Jena case began last fall, when two Black high school students sat under the "white" tree on their campus.  White students responded by hanging nooses from the tree, conjuring up images of lynching and racial terrorism endured by Black people across the country. When Black students protested the light punishment for the students who hung the nooses, District Attorney Reed Walters came to the school and told the students he could "take [their] lives away with a stroke of [his] pen."

 Racial tension continued to mount in Jena, and the District Attorney did nothing in response to several egregious cases of violence and threats against black students. But when a white student--who had been a vocal supporter of the student’s who hung the nooses, taunted a black student and called several black students "n-word"--sustained minor injuries from a school fight, six black students were charged with second-degree attempted murder. Last month, the first young man to be tried, Mychal Bell, was convicted. He faced up to 22 years in prison for a school fight until Black people began to organize and his conviction was thrown out by a court that rules he should not have been tried as an adult.  However, the DA and the judge still refuse to drop the charges in this case and Bell, though released on $45,000 bail, is still subject to trial.

This case has become a symbol for the Black community of the disproportionate arrest and incarceration rate of Black people and the excessive punishment of Black students in schools across the country. Many local organizers say what is happening to the Jena 6 youth is similar to what happens in their cities.

 Mos Def added, "Jena Louisiana is the same as 'Jena’ New York. From Mychal Bell to Sean Bell our communities continue to be targeted."

The group has created a list of demands that will be read at noon during rallies around the country.

 Demands

Judge J.P. Mauffray and District Attorney Reed Walters have engaged in a string of egregious actions. We call for:


1.  All charges against the Jena 6 be dropped;

2.  The United States Department of Justice to convene an immediate inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the arrests and prosecutions of the Jena 6;


3.  Judge Mauffray to be recused from presiding over Bell's juvenile court hearings or other proceedings;


4.  The Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel to investigate Reed Walters for unethical and possibly illegal conduct;   

5.  The Louisiana Judiciary Commission investigate Judge Mauffray for unethical conduct;


6. The Jena School District superintendent to be removed from office; and

7. That each local, state and federal criminal justice apparatus stop profiling the black community in general and specifically black youth for imprisonment and free labor.

For more information: http://www.mxgm.org and http://www.myspace.com/SankofaEmpowerment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: paratactical on October 03, 2007, 12:56:44 PM
Demands

Judge J.P. Mauffray and District Attorney Reed Walters have engaged in a string of egregious actions. We call for:


1.  All charges against the Jena 6 be dropped;

2.  The United States Department of Justice to convene an immediate inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the arrests and prosecutions of the Jena 6;


3.  Judge Mauffray to be recused from presiding over Bell's juvenile court hearings or other proceedings;


4.  The Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel to investigate Reed Walters for unethical and possibly illegal conduct;  

5.  The Louisiana Judiciary Commission investigate Judge Mauffray for unethical conduct;


6. The Jena School District superintendent to be removed from office; and

7. That each local, state and federal criminal justice apparatus stop profiling the black community in general and specifically black youth for imprisonment and free labor.


1. is whack. It's whackness includes, but is not limited to, the fact that it would kinda negate demand 3.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on October 03, 2007, 01:00:04 PM
Demands

Judge J.P. Mauffray and District Attorney Reed Walters have engaged in a string of egregious actions. We call for:


1.  All charges against the Jena 6 be dropped;

2.  The United States Department of Justice to convene an immediate inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the arrests and prosecutions of the Jena 6;


3.  Judge Mauffray to be recused from presiding over Bell's juvenile court hearings or other proceedings;


4.  The Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel to investigate Reed Walters for unethical and possibly illegal conduct;  

5.  The Louisiana Judiciary Commission investigate Judge Mauffray for unethical conduct;


6. The Jena School District superintendent to be removed from office; and

7. That each local, state and federal criminal justice apparatus stop profiling the black community in general and specifically black youth for imprisonment and free labor.


1. is whack. It's whackness includes, but is not limited to, the fact that it would kinda negate demand 3.

LOL  "Whack"  new legal term?   :D  I feel u but more often than not these types of things are a compromise. They won't get everything on the list.  Kinda like "pleading in the alternative". 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on October 03, 2007, 01:43:42 PM


My point is that racism isn't a particularly salient issue in the United States.



Quite simply, racism is as much of a problem in the United States as anti-government militias.


Right.  I suppose that's why thousands upon thousands of people took the time out of their busy schedules to come from all over the nation to march on a small town in Louisiana.

If you honestly believe that racism is not alive and well in this nation then you truly need to wake up.  Ironically, your failure to even acknowledge its prominence in the United States only further highlights the fundamental flaw in your proposition.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on October 03, 2007, 03:16:19 PM
Not sure if this was posted already but I got this in an email from the 40/40 club:

Jena 6
Activists Call for a Student Walk
Mos Def and other Artists, Students and Activists Call for a Student Walk out on Monday October 1st To Support the Jena 6


Artist/Activist Mos Def, Idris Elba, Common, M1, Talib Kweli, MC Lyte, Pharoahe Monch, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Sankofa Community Empowerment, Change the Game, the National Hip Hop Political Convention, The Hip-Hop Association, Color of Change and student leaders from over 100 campuses call for a National Student Walk-Out on Monday October 1 at 12 noon central time to support the Jena 6, who are being denied their human rights by the Louisiana criminal justice system. 

September 26, 2007 New York - Black and Latino/a artists, activists and students across the country are organizing a national day of support for six Black high school students known as the "Jena 6." Over 100 schools have joined in the call to walk out of classrooms at 12 noon, Central Standard Time on Monday October 1 and rally either on campus or at other designated areas to demand the immediate release of Mychal Bell from jail.

Mos Def, who spearheaded the campaign, said "This is the time for Black people to support the Jena 6, and call attention to the unequal treatment the criminal Justice system is dishing out not only in Jena Louisiana but across this nation.we all live in Jena."

The Jena case began last fall, when two Black high school students sat under the "white" tree on their campus.  White students responded by hanging nooses from the tree, conjuring up images of lynching and racial terrorism endured by Black people across the country. When Black students protested the light punishment for the students who hung the nooses, District Attorney Reed Walters came to the school and told the students he could "take [their] lives away with a stroke of [his] pen."

 Racial tension continued to mount in Jena, and the District Attorney did nothing in response to several egregious cases of violence and threats against black students. But when a white student--who had been a vocal supporter of the student’s who hung the nooses, taunted a black student and called several black students "n-word"--sustained minor injuries from a school fight, six black students were charged with second-degree attempted murder. Last month, the first young man to be tried, Mychal Bell, was convicted. He faced up to 22 years in prison for a school fight until Black people began to organize and his conviction was thrown out by a court that rules he should not have been tried as an adult.  However, the DA and the judge still refuse to drop the charges in this case and Bell, though released on $45,000 bail, is still subject to trial.

This case has become a symbol for the Black community of the disproportionate arrest and incarceration rate of Black people and the excessive punishment of Black students in schools across the country. Many local organizers say what is happening to the Jena 6 youth is similar to what happens in their cities.

 Mos Def added, "Jena Louisiana is the same as 'Jena’ New York. From Mychal Bell to Sean Bell our communities continue to be targeted."

The group has created a list of demands that will be read at noon during rallies around the country.

 Demands

Judge J.P. Mauffray and District Attorney Reed Walters have engaged in a string of egregious actions. We call for:


1.  All charges against the Jena 6 be dropped;

2.  The United States Department of Justice to convene an immediate inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the arrests and prosecutions of the Jena 6;


3.  Judge Mauffray to be recused from presiding over Bell's juvenile court hearings or other proceedings;


4.  The Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel to investigate Reed Walters for unethical and possibly illegal conduct;   

5.  The Louisiana Judiciary Commission investigate Judge Mauffray for unethical conduct;


6. The Jena School District superintendent to be removed from office; and

7. That each local, state and federal criminal justice apparatus stop profiling the black community in general and specifically black youth for imprisonment and free labor.

For more information: http://www.mxgm.org and http://www.myspace.com/SankofaEmpowerment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



1 is a dumb demand. Why should charges be dropped?
2 is a dumb demand. The Justice department already did this through the U.S. Attorney's Office.
3 is a dumb demand. The judge didn't do anything wrong. Even if he let certain charges proceed, it would be abuse of discretion at worst. There is no evidence that he is biased against bell or any of the Jena 6.
4 is OK.
5 is dumb for the same reasons as 3
6 is probably Ok, but is a judgment call
7 is on point and a worthy demand.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 03, 2007, 03:25:32 PM
Right.  I suppose that's why thousands upon thousands of people took the time out of their busy schedules to come from all over the nation to march on a small town in Louisiana.

It's on the order of Woodstock 94 to be sure.

Quote
If you honestly believe that racism is not alive and well in this nation then you truly need to wake up.  Ironically, your failure to even acknowledge its prominence in the United States only further highlights the fundamental flaw in your proposition.

It's alive, just not well.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on October 03, 2007, 03:32:12 PM
Not sure if this was posted already but I got this in an email from the 40/40 club:

Jena 6
Activists Call for a Student Walk
Mos Def and other Artists, Students and Activists Call for a Student Walk out on Monday October 1st To Support the Jena 6
1.  All charges against the Jena 6 be dropped; 2.  The United States Department of Justice to convene an immediate inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the arrests and prosecutions of the Jena 6; 3.  Judge Mauffray to be recused from presiding over Bell's juvenile court hearings or other proceedings; 4.  The Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel to investigate Reed Walters for unethical and possibly illegal conduct;   5.  The Louisiana Judiciary Commission investigate Judge Mauffray for unethical conduct; 6. The Jena School District superintendent to be removed from office; and 7. That each local, state and federal criminal justice apparatus stop profiling the black community in general and specifically black youth for imprisonment and free labor.


1 is a dumb demand. Why should charges be dropped?
2 is a dumb demand. The Justice department already did this through the U.S. Attorney's Office.
3 is a dumb demand. The judge didn't do anything wrong. Even if he let certain charges proceed, it would be abuse of discretion at worst. There is no evidence that he is biased against bell or any of the Jena 6.
4 is OK.
5 is dumb for the same reasons as 3
6 is probably Ok, but is a judgment call
7 is on point and a worthy demand.

See that's funny because I didn't like how # 7 was written; seemed too vague.  I hate "Catch-all" phrases and that's what it seems like.  "..and while we're at it, we want world peace"  okay, fine, sure, but how?   Yeah I dont think the judge did anything wrong 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on October 03, 2007, 03:40:17 PM
If you honestly believe that racism is not alive and well in this nation then you truly need to wake up.  Ironically, your failure to even acknowledge its prominence in the United States only further highlights the fundamental flaw in your proposition.

It's alive, just not well.

Actually, I talked to racism the other day and he is doing quite well.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on October 03, 2007, 03:45:19 PM
If you honestly believe that racism is not alive and well in this nation then you truly need to wake up.  Ironically, your failure to even acknowledge its prominence in the United States only further highlights the fundamental flaw in your proposition.

It's alive, just not well.

Actually, I talked to racism the other day and he is doing quite well.

LOL.  :D  Where's blk  she's got to make this the "quote of the day" 
 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on October 04, 2007, 12:21:07 PM
Right.  I suppose that's why thousands upon thousands of people took the time out of their busy schedules to come from all over the nation to march on a small town in Louisiana.

It's on the order of Woodstock 94 to be sure.

Quote
If you honestly believe that racism is not alive and well in this nation then you truly need to wake up.  Ironically, your failure to even acknowledge its prominence in the United States only further highlights the fundamental flaw in your proposition.

It's alive, just not well.


http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/10/04/deafschool.racial.incident/index.html
"A black student was held against his will and "KKK" and swastikas were drawn on him in marker Sunday at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, D.C. Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said."

and when you're done with that check out:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,298001,00.html
"A congressman is calling for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to thoroughly investigate two incidents in which nooses were left in the bag of a black cadet and the office of a woman giving race relations training."

and when you're done with that check out:

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/sean_bell/index.html
"In the early morning hours of Nov. 25, 2006, Sean Bell, a 23-year-old New York City man due to be married later that day, walked out of a Queens strip club, climbed into a gray Nissan Altima with two friends who had been celebrating with him - and died in a hail of 50 bullets fired by a group of five police officers."

and when you're done with that check out:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/nation/specials/aroundthenation/nypd/
"In February 1999, four New York City policemen searching for a rape suspect knocked on Amadou Diallo's door to question him. When he came to the door he reached inside his jacket, at which point the officers shot at him 41 times, hitting him with 19 bullets. The object Diallo was reaching for turned out to be his wallet."

and when you're done with that check out:

http://edition.cnn.com/US/9902/16/dragging.death.04/index.html
"The local sheriff was the first witness to take the stand Tuesday in the capital murder trial of a white supremacist charged with the gruesome killing of a black man dragged behind a truck last year."


and when you're done with that...












[we can literally be here all day]
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 04, 2007, 02:29:19 PM
then there is:
http://suppressednews.com/mynews/news/EEEpuVlFAkYbFvAxrJ.shtml
"However, because two black people were involved in the recent reorganization of the athletic department, the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus has attacked Auburn’s president..."

and this:
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID={DF47CCDB-9C7B-45F6-A7C3-ED7968CA4873}
"The U.S. Justice Department has reported that 85% of all inter-racial violence in America is committed by blacks against whites. But there are apparently no black hate crimes; and there is certainly no white civil rights movement to create sympathy for the victims."

"Because they are black, the Wichita killers have been protected from national scrutiny and have not even been charged with a hate crime."

and also this:
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=%5CNation%5Carchive%5C200508%5CNAT20050810c.html
"Conservative African Americans Tuesday slammed liberal black activist male private part Gregory for referring to a Cybercast News Service reporter as a "white boy" during a nationally televised cable news program Monday night. "

And:
http://www.tabunka.org/newsletter/black_racism.html
"Particularly horrific is the animosity directed at Asian Americans by blacks in low-income areas of urban America."

as well as:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/24/nyregion/24bias.html?pagewanted=print&position=
"They are among at least 17 Hispanic men who the local police suspect were severely beaten by young black men - and in the one case, killed - in and around Plainfield during the spring and summer."

And when finished, please check out this:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1747488/posts
"Victim Describes Beating (Black Mob Attack on White Girls in Long Beach, CA on Halloween)

Then move onto this:
http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=133215&ran=133385
"Damin is white; his assailants are black."

AND:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/double-standard-on-hate-s_b_34971.html
"But blacks do commit hate crimes, and as it turns out are committing lots more of them than generally known. According to the 2004 FBI Hate Crimes report, blacks committed slightly more than 20 percent of the hate crimes in America."

and then:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CEED7153DF937A25756C0A966958260
"Shouting anti-Korean slurs, a mob of up to 15 black youths armed with a baseball bat, knives and bottles attacked three Vietnamese men on a Brooklyn street early yesterday and fractured the skull of one victim before fleeing into the night, the police said."

and let's finish with:
http://wcbstv.com/local/Police.Beating.Gerstile.2.234935.html
" Elderly Man Attacked In Elevator Dies"


My point is that YES, there IS STILL RACISM in America.  However, it IS NOT JUST COMMITTED BY WHITES.  It comes from all directions.  We could sit here all night finding random articles about white people doing racist things or black people targeting other races.  (The media LOVES reporting any white on black violence as racially motivated, but rarely assumes the same when it is the other way around). 

I really do believe that America is much less racist than it used to be, BUT that it is found among EVERY ETHNIC GROUP.  There are Black racists, Hispanic racists, Asian racists, and (yes, surprise!) White racists.  I am also tired of the "Well, whites have more power so they can inflict it worse upon other people" argument.  That is a bunch of crap.  There are many successful people from all walks of life.  Stop whining about YOUR own personal lack of success by blaming it on others. 

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: LadyKD on October 04, 2007, 02:41:04 PM
All I can say is how do you expect to change hundreds of generations of behavior in only two or three?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on October 04, 2007, 02:51:38 PM
California Cougar, not to diminish your post, but there is a huge difference between racism propagated by individuals and racism propagated by agents of the state. Individualized racism can be singularly dismissed as such, but institutionalized racism simultaneously reaches out to everyone and I believe the majority of Sands' post speaks to that phenomenon.

And, I don't believe anyone asserts that racism is only committed by white people.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 04, 2007, 04:30:55 PM


http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/10/04/deafschool.racial.incident/index.html
"A black student was held against his will and "KKK" and swastikas were drawn on him in marker Sunday at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, D.C. Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said."

Isolated.

Quote

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,298001,00.html
"A congressman is calling for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to thoroughly investigate two incidents in which nooses were left in the bag of a black cadet and the office of a woman giving race relations training."


Isolated.


Quote
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/sean_bell/index.html
"In the early morning hours of Nov. 25, 2006, Sean Bell, a 23-year-old New York City man due to be married later that day, walked out of a Queens strip club, climbed into a gray Nissan Altima with two friends who had been celebrating with him - and died in a hail of 50 bullets fired by a group of five police officers."

You just left a thing or two out:

"At the time Bell was holding his bachelor party at Kalua Cabaret, a venue notorious for prostitution, drug-arrests and liquor-law violations. The club was being investigated by seven undercover police detectives.[9] The New York Post reported that, according to an unnamed undercover officer, Guzman had an argument inside the club with a woman and threatened to get a gun. The woman was reportedly overheard saying to the men arguing with Bell's friends, "I'm not doing you all. I'll do one or two, but not all."[10] The undercover officer followed the group and Bell was ordered by the officer to raise his hands after getting in his car. Instead, the car hit the undercover officer and, seconds later, an unmarked police minivan.[1] A toxicology report reportedly showed that he was legally drunk at the time of the shooting."

Quote

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/nation/specials/aroundthenation/nypd/
"In February 1999, four New York City policemen searching for a rape suspect knocked on Amadou Diallo's door to question him. When he came to the door he reached inside his jacket, at which point the officers shot at him 41 times, hitting him with 19 bullets. The object Diallo was reaching for turned out to be his wallet."

We've already been through this. If you reach in your pocket when an officer says hands up, you will die.

Quote

http://edition.cnn.com/US/9902/16/dragging.death.04/index.html
"The local sheriff was the first witness to take the stand Tuesday in the capital murder trial of a white supremacist charged with the gruesome killing of a black man dragged behind a truck last year."

and?

Quote

[we can literally be here all day]

Yes we could as long as incidents in isolation take on far more significance than they rightly have. Similarly, I could use such incidents to prove, well, almost anything.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 04, 2007, 04:33:29 PM
And, I don't believe anyone asserts that racism is only committed by white people.

I didn't know racism could be committed.

::takes off Mets jersey::
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 04, 2007, 04:59:33 PM
And, I don't believe anyone asserts that racism is only committed by white people.

I didn't know racism could be committed.


I had never thought stupidity could be committed, until recently.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 04, 2007, 05:03:06 PM
...I am also tired of the "Well, whites have more power so they can inflict it worse upon other people" argument.  That is a bunch of crap.  There are many successful people from all walks of life.  Stop whining about YOUR own personal lack of success by blaming it on others. 

This is a great rebuttal - I'm going to start using it in all of my discussions. Maybe even in court.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on October 04, 2007, 05:10:21 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,298001,00.html
"A congressman is calling for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to thoroughly investigate two incidents in which nooses were left in the bag of a black cadet and the office of a woman giving race relations training."

Isolated.


That fact that the first incident occurred in July and is only now being investigated by the academy is worth noting.

Also, racism can be committed. Albeit awkward sounding, it is grammatically correct.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 04, 2007, 05:28:00 PM
...I am also tired of the "Well, whites have more power so they can inflict it worse upon other people" argument.  That is a bunch of crap.  There are many successful people from all walks of life.  Stop whining about YOUR own personal lack of success by blaming it on others. 

This is a great rebuttal - I'm going to start using it in all of my discussions. Maybe even in court.



I'm 100% certain you'll use that phrase at one point or another if you make it to the court room.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 04, 2007, 09:44:07 PM
...I am also tired of the "Well, whites have more power so they can inflict it worse upon other people" argument.  That is a bunch of crap.  There are many successful people from all walks of life.  Stop whining about YOUR own personal lack of success by blaming it on others. 

This is a great rebuttal - I'm going to start using it in all of my discussions. Maybe even in court.



I'm 100% certain you'll use that phrase at one point or another if you make it to the court room.


That's a bunch of crap.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 04, 2007, 09:46:33 PM
That's a bunch of crap.

PSA: contractions are a no-no.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 04, 2007, 09:48:37 PM
That's a bunch of crap.

PSA: contractions are a no-no.

PSA: hyphenated words are on the way out. I read it in last week's The Week.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 04, 2007, 10:19:16 PM
My this thread has devolved since, oh, about when Bb. came along.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 04, 2007, 10:24:37 PM
My this thread has devolved since, oh, about when Bb. came along.

I had to destroy the thread to save it.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Leo on October 04, 2007, 10:46:08 PM
My this thread has devolved since, oh, about when Bb. came along.

I had to destroy the thread to save it.

who are you?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 05, 2007, 09:36:01 AM
http://pajamasmedia.com/2007/10/some_things_really_are_black_a.php
"I’m not being cavalier about this because Mr. Pierce is black, but because what we all knew from the start is that he was the biggest prankster of all. For a long time, he had been the prime instigator of practical jokes at the fire station."
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 05, 2007, 09:43:54 AM
http://www.city-journal.org/html/12_3_black_cops.html
But all black officers, whatever their reason for joining the force, face the same occupational hazard: race-based taunting. “You work for the man!” Detective Carl McLaughlin constantly hears in Brooklyn. “I don’t work for ‘the man,’ ” he says impatiently. “I work for the penal law.” The taunts have become “more sophisticated” over the years, McLaughlin reports. “They use bigger words. ‘Because of you, I’m going to get reparations!’ they shout.” McLaughlin smiles beatifically back, the soul of innocence: “Me too: I’m black!” Detective Robert Reedy, a heavy-smoking mountain of a man in an aquamarine pin-striped suit, works with McLaughlin in the 67th Precinct. “They call me a slave, a field n-word,” he says. He responds contemptuously: “That’s ‘house n-word’—get your terms right.” The perps then whine: “You black like me!” Reedy shakes his head in amazement: “What’s that got to do with taking the lady’s handbag?”
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 05, 2007, 09:54:02 AM
http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2000/11/01/cops/index.html

Nov. 1, 2000 |   -- Anthony Dwain Lee told a friend that he feared he would be killed by the police because he's a tall black man. The promising and popular film and TV actor's worst horror became a deadly reality when he was gunned down by an officer at a Halloween costume party in Los Angeles last weekend. The officer claimed he fired on Lee through the window of the home when Lee pointed a gun at him. The gun was fake. Partygoers instantly disputed the police version of events and said that Lee could not have seen the officer through the window. The killing had an even more tragic twist that Lee probably could not have imagined. The officer who shot him,Tarriel Hooper, is African-American.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 05, 2007, 10:02:06 AM
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=AE1A2449-EC0E-4723-83A0-9CDB47491708

Ask yourself this — with which names are you more familiar: LaTanya Haggerty, or Amadou Diallo? If you could ask Rather, Brokaw, or Jennings the same question what do you think their reply would be. If you did a Lexis-Nexis search, which name would have the most articles?

Both were black people shot and killed accidentally by cops. The difference is Amadou Diallo was killed by white cops-LaTanya Haggerty was killed by black cops.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 05, 2007, 10:21:01 AM


LOS ANGELES  —  A woman who worked on "The Price Is Right" for two decades has sued Bob Barker and the game show's producers, alleging they retaliated against her and forced her to quit after she testified against Barker.

Deborah Curling claimed she was in a "pleasant working environment" for many years screening contestants for the show, but that changed after she testified in a wrongful termination lawsuit brought against Barker by a former production assistant, according to her lawsuit filed Thursday in Superior Court.

Curling claimed she was demoted to working in an "intolerable" working environment in the back stage, forcing her to leave the show last fall.

Curling, who is black, also claimed a hostile work environment in which black employees and black contestants were discriminated against.

"Barker created an atmosphere of terror on the show, as a result of which any employee who complained about the working environment or contradicted Barker was fired," the lawsuit said.

Besides Barker, the lawsuit also names production company FreemantleMedia North America and CBS as defendants.

A CBS spokesman declined to comment, and an after-hours call to FreemantleMedia was not immediately returned.

Curling's lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

Barker, 83, retired earlier this year after hosting "The Price Is Right" for 35 years.


Sounds a little contradictory to me. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on October 05, 2007, 10:33:18 AM


http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/10/04/deafschool.racial.incident/index.html
"A black student was held against his will and "KKK" and swastikas were drawn on him in marker Sunday at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, D.C. Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said."

Isolated.



There are none more blind than those who won't see.



I see you specialize in wearing blinders.  There's not much more we can do, absent allowing you to walk in our shoes, to show you that racism is alive and well in the U.S. in 2007.  Cougar's posts show that as well (although I don't believe anybody ever made the argument that racism was solely within the province of white people).  I suppose you're in that camp of people who need to see official legislation literally stating that the definition of those who can own property are white males over the age of 21.  (although you'd probably dismiss that as well somehow...)

Also, as Seventhson pointed out, unfortunately many of the examples against minorities have been institutional in nature.  That is far from isolated.

To bring the thread back to its purpose - to discuss the Jena 6 case - the prosecutor should definitely be investigated for bias in handling this and the other cases.

I def do NOT agree that the Jena 6 should be automatically set free.  They need to stand trial for the crimes they committed just like the DA needs be investigated for his professional conduct. (or lack thereof)

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 05, 2007, 11:25:32 AM
Quote
I def do NOT agree that the Jena 6 should be automatically set free.  They need to stand trial for the crimes they committed just like the DA needs be investigated for his professional conduct. (or lack thereof)


That's the best post on this whole thread. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 05, 2007, 11:46:42 AM
Quote
I def do NOT agree that the Jena 6 should be automatically set free.  They need to stand trial for the crimes they committed just like the DA needs be investigated for his professional conduct. (or lack thereof)


That's the best post on this whole thread. 

That's funny because a lot of posts have said the same thing.  Read the thread if you want to actually participate in some discussion of the issues in Jena.  Otherwise, go read Frontpage or TownHall or whatever.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on October 05, 2007, 12:26:53 PM
There are none more blind than those who won't see.

I see you specialize in wearing blinders.  ...

I recommend you not bother to feed the energy monsters.

good recommendation.   :) But the convo remained intellectual and somewhat on topic so I think it was worth it.  "Blinders" vs outright purposeful ignorance.  One is worth the time to educate and the other isn't.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on October 05, 2007, 12:42:53 PM
I'm fairly sure that my position is the correct one. I'm always weary though when known racists agree with me.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 05, 2007, 11:55:20 PM
Quote
I def do NOT agree that the Jena 6 should be automatically set free.  They need to stand trial for the crimes they committed just like the DA needs be investigated for his professional conduct. (or lack thereof)


That's the best post on this whole thread. 

That's funny because a lot of posts have said the same thing.  Read the thread if you want to actually participate in some discussion of the issues in Jena.  Otherwise, go read Frontpage or TownHall or whatever.


Sorry, no time to read 14 pages of squabble. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 06, 2007, 12:35:30 AM
Quote
I def do NOT agree that the Jena 6 should be automatically set free.  They need to stand trial for the crimes they committed just like the DA needs be investigated for his professional conduct. (or lack thereof)


That's the best post on this whole thread. 

That's funny because a lot of posts have said the same thing.  Read the thread if you want to actually participate in some discussion of the issues in Jena.  Otherwise, go read Frontpage or TownHall or whatever.


Sorry, no time to read 14 pages of squabble. 

You're a class act. Honestly.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on October 06, 2007, 02:38:54 AM
Quote
I def do NOT agree that the Jena 6 should be automatically set free.  They need to stand trial for the crimes they committed just like the DA needs be investigated for his professional conduct. (or lack thereof)


That's the best post on this whole thread. 

That's funny because a lot of posts have said the same thing.  Read the thread if you want to actually participate in some discussion of the issues in Jena.  Otherwise, go read Frontpage or TownHall or whatever.


Sorry, no time to read 14 pages of squabble. 


Cali, you should really skim through the pages. This thread has been very informative.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 06, 2007, 12:49:51 PM
There are none more blind than those who won't see.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platitude



Quote
There's not much more we can do, absent allowing you to walk in our shoes, to show you that racism is alive and well in the U.S. in 2007.

Part of the issue is that contemporary black culture seeks any opportunity for victimhood available, so much so that a drunken crack dealer leaving a notorious brothel who tries to run over and is fired on first by a black police officer stands as an example of institutional racism. What's worse is that many blacks actually identify with the a-hole, practically beatifying an obviously terrible person.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 06, 2007, 02:00:49 PM

Part of the issue is that contemporary black culture seeks any opportunity for victimhood available...what's worse is that many blacks actually identify with the a-hole, practically beatifying an obviously terrible person.

Link?

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 06, 2007, 02:20:49 PM
Link?

Quote

"These raids have infuriated a Black community, as well as many others in New York, who are already boiling over with anger at the murder of yet another unarmed young Black man. “I think what they’re doing is repulsive, disgusting and deplorable,” said Bishop Erskine Williams Sr., whose son is a good friend of Trent Benefield’s and was arrested during the raids for an unpaid summons of $25. “They’re trying to put together something to cover up an assassination, an execution of this young boy,” Erskine Williams Sr. said.

The people’s rage over the execution of Sean Bell pulsed on Liverpool St. last week, where a memorial area has been carefully and lovingly set up right next to the iron gate that Sean’s car backed into as he and his two friends tried to escape. On the sidewalk are dozens of lighted candles, bouquets of white carnations and red roses, and a large, multi-colored flowered wreath sitting on a triangular stand, with a photo of Sean, Nicole, and one of their two young daughters in the hollowed center of the wreath. And taped to the brick wall standing above the sidewalk is the question posed at the beginning of this article, of who will tell the truth of what happened on this street in the early morning hours of Nov. 25, along with a number of other posted thoughts and comments.

One of these is a neatly typed letter addressed to the NYPD and signed by “a mother of 3 African-American sons and 2 African-American grandsons.” It reads, in part: “Last Saturday’s encounter was nothing less than an execution. What is painfully, frightfully obvious to Black people is that those young men could have been ANY BLACK MEN, and it wouldn’t matter about their social or economic status. However, know this: We are collectively mad as hell and are not taking it anymore!!!”

lol. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dib2-HBsF08

Continuing...

Quote

One day last week, a number of people visiting the memorial, both from the neighborhood but also from other parts of the city, expressed to a Revolution reporter their anger and anguish but also their determination to help bring these executions to a halt. Said a woman who was born in the country of Jamaica but has lived in the U.S. for 35 years, many of them in Jamaica, N.Y.:

    “I think the police are the Ku Klux Klan. I think they’ve got that uniform on, but they’re really the KKK. And I think it’s a conspiracy of them to kill as many Black youth as they possibly can…. Right now, we Black people have like a slavery syndrome, where we are scared to fight. So anybody, especially the cops, can do anything they want and get away with it. But I personally believe it’s time for us to fight back. I have three sons and they grew up in this country but I sent them to London, where we’re originally from, after leaving Jamaica, because I didn’t want the cops killing them. I haven’t seen one of my sons for 21 years, and I haven’t seen another one for 14. But if they were in this country I probably would have had to bury them a long time ago. So even though I can’t see them, I know they’re alive. Although, on the other hand, I know England is not much better in how they treat Blacks—not much better, but better than what happens to them here. That really says something about this country, doesn’t it?”


http://rwor.org/a/072/seanbell-en.html

One of many.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 06, 2007, 02:24:52 PM


One of many.


I seem to remember someone saying "isolated" quite a few times earlier in the thread.

Also, isn't it some sort of fallacy or something to take isolated incidents and make categorical statements from them? I'm tired and distracted now - what's that called again?

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 06, 2007, 02:30:07 PM
Also, isn't it some sort of fallacy or something to take isolated incidents and make categorical statements from them?

Yep.

Quote
I'm tired and distracted now - what's that called again?

Check with Miss P.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: I can has lauskul! on October 06, 2007, 02:32:14 PM
I'm fairly sure that my position is the correct one. I'm always weary though when known racists agree with me.
"Weary", are you?  Are you sure you're not wary?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on October 06, 2007, 02:33:37 PM
I'm fairly sure that my position is the correct one. I'm always weary though when known racists agree with me.
"Weary", are you?  Are you sure you're not wary?

Probably.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 06, 2007, 05:09:09 PM
Also, isn't it some sort of fallacy or something to take isolated incidents and make categorical statements from them?

Yep.

I'm glad we agree.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 06, 2007, 06:39:29 PM
Part of the issue is that contemporary black culture seeks any opportunity for victimhood available, so much so that a drunken crack dealer leaving a notorious brothel who tries to run over and is fired on first by a black police officer stands as an example of institutional racism. What's worse is that many blacks actually identify with the a-hole, practically beatifying an obviously terrible person.

I would go through and do a "breadboy treatment" of this account, but it's not worth it.  I am skeptical, of course, of any claims you make to understand and assess "contemporary black culture," but this is especially true when you base your criticisms on, what, a memorial set up by family of a man who was shot dead on the eve of his wedding?  Neighbors' concern that -- given the facts as they knew them* -- the same thing could happen to them or their loved ones?  Community demands for investigation and prosecution of clear violations of police policy and likely violations of the law?  This is pathetic.

Accepting the facts as you've outlined them, I don't think being drunk, dealing crack, going to a strip club/brothel for your bachelor party, and trying to get away from people (unidentified as cops) chasing after you, and even purposefully trying to hit an unidentified person aiming a gun at you with your car mean you should be killed in a hail of fifty gunshots. Was Sean Bell a great guy?  No.  But the police officers, at the least, violated department regulations about whether to shoot at moving vehicles (fifty times).  They also likely violated the law about use of lethal force.  Perhaps it's not a perfect example of institutional racism (unlike some other notorious police shootings in NYC over the past several years) given that the cops had some reason to believe they were in danger and that a crime was imminent, but this doesn't change the fact that they police black neighborhoods more heavily, view young black men out at night or in high-crime neighborhoods with automatic suspicion (as long as they aren't in uniform), associate fear of police with violent criminal activity (see, e.g., Wardlow), and pull guns on black men much faster than they do on anyone else.  This isn't right, even for crack dealers and johns.  I don't see any problem with community concern -- and even outrage -- about this incident, regardless of Bell's character flaws and alleged criminal history.

In any case, this has nothing to do with Jena.  I mentioned those names because of your claim that only African American, and not African immigrant and West Indian, black men experience what some of us in this thread have described as racism.  The "isolated" and "he was a real bad guy" defenses don't explain away the common thread between those victims -- the fact that they were black men.  

p.s. The fallacy tj. outlined is the fallacy of composition or of hasty generalization (they are the same for this purpose).  I might instead describe yours as the fallacy of the biased sample or of two wrongs making a right.


*Remember, this was when our white, Republican mayor had called the shooting "unacceptable" and "inexplicable" and described himself as "deeply disturbed" by the officers' "excessive force."
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: naturallybeyoutiful on October 06, 2007, 09:54:49 PM
So I thought I'd give my 2 cents on the Jena 6.  Probably discussed here before, but whatev.

I definitely have problems with the way these boys were treated by the legal system...

However it really bothers me how *certain* black people are handling this incident.  Everyone seems to be rallying around these boys as though they're heros (I believe I've actually heard this word used before).

These boys, though victims of the criminal justice system, aren't heros.  There's nothing laudable about beating someone until they're unconscious, especially when you're in a group of six friends and you're attacking someone who's alone.

I understand the racial tensions, the nooses, that the kid who was beaten was using racial slurs and in general all the bad stuff the white residents of the town did to the black ones, but violence is never the appropriate response.  And from what I understand, it wasn't a fight gone awry, they really just jumped him.

Like I said, the outcry over this case is deserved, but I think people should save the rally cries for people who really deserve it... Emmitt Till, Abner Louima, etc.  While I understand their plight, I don't think these guys are wonderful people who deserve our reverence.

And while the proceedings against them were a joke, as I said, they did beat a guy until he was knocked out.  Which deserves significant punishment IMO if not the exaggerated sentences that they're facing.

Fwiw, I totally agree!!!!  I'm sure a number of good points have been raised on both sides in the 15 pagews of this thread (that I don't have time to read  :D), but I just wanted to chime in and say -- you took the words right out of my mouth!!
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on October 06, 2007, 11:29:46 PM
There are none more blind than those who won't see.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platitude



Quote
There's not much more we can do, absent allowing you to walk in our shoes, to show you that racism is alive and well in the U.S. in 2007.

Part of the issue is that contemporary black culture seeks any opportunity for victimhood available, so much so that a drunken crack dealer leaving a notorious brothel who tries to run over and is fired on first by a black police officer stands as an example of institutional racism. What's worse is that many blacks actually identify with the a-hole, practically beatifying an obviously terrible person.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaming_%28Internet%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 07, 2007, 11:15:45 AM
Quit writing so much. It's no secret Breadboy both flames and trolls.


Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 07, 2007, 12:13:36 PM
I would go through and do a "breadboy treatment" of this account, but it's not worth it.  I am skeptical, of course, of any claims you make to understand and assess "contemporary black culture," but this is especially true when you base your criticisms on, what, a memorial set up by family of a man who was shot dead on the eve of his wedding?  Neighbors' concern that -- given the facts as they knew them* -- the same thing could happen to them or their loved ones?  Community demands for investigation and prosecution of clear violations of police policy and likely violations of the law?  This is pathetic.

Would you acknowledge that memorials can be inappropriate/ridiculous, say (at the extreme) Eric Harris?


Quote
Accepting the facts as you've outlined them, I don't think being drunk, dealing crack, going to a strip club/brothel for your bachelor party, and trying to get away from people (unidentified as cops) chasing after you, and even purposefully trying to hit an unidentified person aiming a gun at you with your car mean you should be killed in a hail of fifty gunshots.


I do. Trying to run someone over is trying to kill them. When someone is trying to kill you you fire until they are definitely dead which can take some time to ascertain if they're driving a vehicle.



Quote
Perhaps it's not a perfect example of institutional racism (unlike some other notorious police shootings in NYC over the past several years) given that the cops had some reason to believe they were in danger and that a crime was imminent,


This is ridiculous. It isn't even a slight example of racism, institutional or otherwise.

Quote
but this doesn't change the fact that they police black neighborhoods more heavily, view young black men out at night or in high-crime neighborhoods with automatic suspicion (as long as they aren't in uniform), associate fear of police with violent criminal activity (see, e.g., Wardlow), and pull guns on black men much faster than they do on anyone else.  This isn't right, even for crack dealers and johns.  I don't see any problem with community concern -- and even outrage -- about this incident,

This is tangential at best. However, we do need to have a discussion about some of this (i.e. if blacks are being targeted as a class why is it that only a smaller subset of the population is involved in 95% of the incidents?)



Quote
regardless of Bell's character flaws and alleged criminal history.

Alleged?

Quote
In any case, this has nothing to do with Jena.  I mentioned those names because of your claim that only African American, and not African immigrant and West Indian, black men experience what some of us in this thread have described as racism.  The "isolated" and "he was a real bad guy" defenses don't explain away the common thread between those victims -- the fact that they were black men. 

I was responding to Sands. But as a side note, anyone who reaches for things when the police say hands up is asking to die, black, white, or otherwise.



Quote
*Remember, this was when our white, Republican mayor had called the shooting "unacceptable" and "inexplicable" and described himself as "deeply disturbed" by the officers' "excessive force."

I don't see automatic comrades in white faces, sorry.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 07, 2007, 12:26:50 PM
Doesn't that generally contradict with almost everything you've said in this thread?

Nope.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 07, 2007, 12:51:18 PM
But, wasn't that quote suggesting that the "idealists" who are well-fed are a bit OVERLY idealistic? As though perhaps "idealist" is mildly pejorative, because those idealists themselves live a mildly under-informed version of life, surrounded as they are by people who have less material wealth than them, and therefore unable as they are to sympathize with the plight of the less fortunate?


Nope.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 07, 2007, 01:12:27 PM
Oh I see. So the quote is suggesting that the morons who are materialist are all wrong and ought to be idealistic because materialism is the bad thing, and idealism the good thing that we all could have, if only we had enough stuff?


Nope.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 07, 2007, 06:27:01 PM
This is ridiculous.

Yup.  I'm not doing this anymore.  You need to find a new playmate.

ETA: Marx, of course, was the ultimate materialist.  You should read the German Ideology and then come back with different aphorisms.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 07, 2007, 06:35:25 PM
This is ridiculous.

Yup.  I'm not doing this anymore.  You need to find a new playmate.

red. and stanley are gone  :(
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Private David Lewis on October 07, 2007, 07:24:39 PM
lol, bb is still the most interesting poster here.  Sorry guys. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: t... on October 07, 2007, 09:33:46 PM
lol, bb is still the most interesting poster here.  Sorry guys. 

You're a fool.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 09, 2007, 05:48:17 AM
lol, bb is still the most interesting poster here.  Sorry guys. 

You're a fool.



I prefer useful idiot.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 09, 2007, 07:32:10 AM
Thanks for bumping this thread.  Something has been really bothering me.

Quote
Accepting the facts as you've outlined them, I don't think being drunk, dealing crack, going to a strip club/brothel for your bachelor party, and trying to get away from people (unidentified as cops) chasing after you, and even purposefully trying to hit an unidentified person aiming a gun at you with your car mean you should be killed in a hail of fifty gunshots.


I do. Trying to run someone over is trying to kill them. When someone is trying to kill you you fire until they are definitely dead which can take some time to ascertain if they're driving a vehicle.

NYPD policy vehemently disagrees with you about this.  The policy says that cops should not fire at moving vehicles, even when they are being used as weapons, for at least two reasons:

1. A dead or injured driver puts passengers and people nearby in tremendous danger (because s/he is in control of the car); and

2. It is nearly impossible to get a clean shot, and if you don't have a clean shot, you put yourself and others at further risk.  The police say, basically, that if you have time to get a clean shot, you have time to get out of the way, which certainly makes sense to me based on the frenzy I've experienced jaywalking across crowded streets.  The policy says you should get out of the way and then assess whether lethal force is necessary -- and whether it will add to or reduce the danger of someone getting killed.

The Bell shooting is actually a good illustration of the second point.  At least one of the 50 bullets ended up in a private home; another (or was it two?  I don't remember) shattered a glass wall at the Jamaica AirTrain station, narrowly missing PAPD and (I think) a tourist.  (They were injured by the shattered glass but not by the bullet[s?].) 

Finally, I know reports about the situation vary, but your description is really misleading.  All agree that one of the undercover officers came up to the side of the car with his gun out and put his foot on the bumper. Bell apparently moved the car back and forth (hitting the unmarked police van) in an effort to shake the officer off his car -- and, in fact, the officer jumped off or was shaken to the side as the car started to move.  It appears that no one thought that Bell was trying to run the officer over at the time.  Indeed, the accounts after the shooting revolved around a claim that the first officer had told the other officers that he saw one of the passengers reach for a gun, and not that anyone thought the first officer was about to be run over.  The controversy was about two things (1) whether the officer clearly identified himself as NYPD when he approached (and touched) the car with his gun out and (2) whether Bell was trying to hurt him or was instead just trying to get away.  Either way, the police have a policy of not firing into moving vehicles.  Even if you believe the police identified themselves clearly and that Bell was trying to hurt them, these facts are insufficient to overcome the clear judgments underlying the policy.  It was very dangerous, and we are lucky that no one else was killed or seriously hurt.

Quote from: Bb.
Quote
regardless of Bell's character flaws and alleged criminal history.

Alleged?

AFAIK, he had an arrest record but no convictions.  But it doesn't matter since we don't sanction the punishment of death by fusillade (officially).
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 09, 2007, 12:56:10 PM
Quote
I def do NOT agree that the Jena 6 should be automatically set free.  They need to stand trial for the crimes they committed just like the DA needs be investigated for his professional conduct. (or lack thereof)


That's the best post on this whole thread. 

That's funny because a lot of posts have said the same thing.  Read the thread if you want to actually participate in some discussion of the issues in Jena.  Otherwise, go read Frontpage or TownHall or whatever.


Sorry, no time to read 14 pages of squabble. 

You're a class act. Honestly.




WHAAAA!
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 09, 2007, 06:32:06 PM
The police say, basically, that if you have time to get a clean shot, you have time to get out of the way, which certainly makes sense to me based on the frenzy I've experienced jaywalking across crowded streets.

I don't know about the specifics of Bell's situation, but this doesn't make much sense to me at all.  If someone is driving at you with the intent to run you over, you can't simply "get out of the way" in order to avoid the car.  I think the best justification for not firing on moving vehicles would be that even if you did kill the driver, it would hardly stop the vehicle, and it would become an unmanned tool of destruction.  

Yes, and that's point one.  But the second point is also important: the policy judges that if you are in actual danger of being run over by a car, you do not have time to make a clean shot, which means, of course, that you should not make a shot at all.  We saw this in action in Bell's case, when four of the fifty bullets struck Bell, their presumed target; fourteen struck the other passengers in the car; two nearly struck Port Authority PD officers at the AirTrain station, etc.  If you do have time to make a clean shot, you also have time to get out of the way of the car.  You should get out of the way first, and then judge whether you or others face an imminent risk of death. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 09, 2007, 10:01:19 PM
If you do have time to make a clean shot, you also have time to get out of the way of the car. 

I'm not denying this might be in the provision, but I am denying that it could possibly be true.  You couldn't imagine a case in which a car is headed at you, you have time to shoot at the car, yet you don't have time or room to escape the path of the car?  Cars don't stay on one straight path; the driver can steer and try to hit you.  If you shoot the person in the car, however, the driver cannot try to steer and hit you.   

::resumes studying for civ pro test::
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Private David Lewis on October 09, 2007, 10:03:44 PM
This discussion leads me to believe you have never shot at a moving vehicle that is trying to run you over.  You should come to Texas. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 09, 2007, 10:04:47 PM
This discussion leads me to believe you have never shot at a moving vehicle that is trying to run you over.  You should come to Texas. 

:D

Speaking of the Gulf Region, can we get back to Louisiana now?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on October 10, 2007, 10:08:03 AM
The police say, basically, that if you have time to get a clean shot, you have time to get out of the way, which certainly makes sense to me based on the frenzy I've experienced jaywalking across crowded streets.

I don't know about the specifics of Bell's situation, but this doesn't make much sense to me at all.  If someone is driving at you with the intent to run you over, you can't simply "get out of the way" in order to avoid the car.  I think the best justification for not firing on moving vehicles would be that even if you did kill the driver, it would hardly stop the vehicle, and it would become an unmanned tool of destruction.  

Yes, and that's point one.  But the second point is also important: the policy judges that if you are in actual danger of being run over by a car, you do not have time to make a clean shot, which means, of course, that you should not make a shot at all.  We saw this in action in Bell's case, when four of the fifty bullets struck Bell, their presumed target; fourteen struck the other passengers in the car; two nearly struck Port Authority PD officers at the AirTrain station, etc.  If you do have time to make a clean shot, you also have time to get out of the way of the car.  You should get out of the way first, and then judge whether you or others face an imminent risk of death. 


It is a shame that she has to explain this to some people on here.

You are better than most, P.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Private David Lewis on October 10, 2007, 10:13:50 AM
The police say, basically, that if you have time to get a clean shot, you have time to get out of the way, which certainly makes sense to me based on the frenzy I've experienced jaywalking across crowded streets.

I don't know about the specifics of Bell's situation, but this doesn't make much sense to me at all.  If someone is driving at you with the intent to run you over, you can't simply "get out of the way" in order to avoid the car.  I think the best justification for not firing on moving vehicles would be that even if you did kill the driver, it would hardly stop the vehicle, and it would become an unmanned tool of destruction.  

Yes, and that's point one.  But the second point is also important: the policy judges that if you are in actual danger of being run over by a car, you do not have time to make a clean shot, which means, of course, that you should not make a shot at all.  We saw this in action in Bell's case, when four of the fifty bullets struck Bell, their presumed target; fourteen struck the other passengers in the car; two nearly struck Port Authority PD officers at the AirTrain station, etc.  If you do have time to make a clean shot, you also have time to get out of the way of the car.  You should get out of the way first, and then judge whether you or others face an imminent risk of death. 


It is a shame that she has to explain this to some people on here.

You are better than most, P.


Yes--some of us are so stupid.  This morning I tripped over myself while getting out of bed.  It was all I could do to toast a Pop Tart. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on October 10, 2007, 10:52:11 AM
Wasn't talkin about you personally. 

Some of the debates of late on this thread have been like arguing that the sky, is in fact, blue.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on October 10, 2007, 11:51:01 AM
The great thing about internet arguing is that if someone else can't prove that the sky is blue, you can often make them really annoyed by deliberately insisting it's purple.

One thing that I notice about the LSD boards, relative to many others where I've been on the internet, is that here people tend to prefer to show themselves as non-cooperative. Somehow the concept of cooperation suggests to them the concept of weakness or ineptitude. (This is, of course, a logical fallacy, but that's a different issue.) So, when they're in doubt, they aggressively posture about their own independence, lack of support, and aggression, going out of their way to find the small points where they and everyone else DIFFER. It's very important to them to find difference and then get angry about it. In lots of other locations, people are more sanguine about the notion of creating a field in which we can all work, even if there are differences among the denizens of that field.

I suppose it's good practice for the inherently adversarial nature of the law, and it's generally verbally quite accurate to the type of thinking that's required in an LSAT question. People often read my posts as though they were LR or RC questions (another obvious logical fallacy) and then feel they've adequately addressed the issues at hand merely because they've pointed out a weakener, strengthener, or assumption, or found which of the following five answer choices  parallels the method of reading in the stimulus above. But it certainly doesn't actually get at the issues at hand, and it tends to prevent people from actually advocating for their own positions.

Nobody on this thread who CLAIMS to be advocating that racism in America doesn't exist to any important extent has actually DONE any advocating for that claim. They just keep re-stating that position, then things which are supposed inferences from that position, and then things that are only tangentially related to that position, and then a lot of anger about things like taxes and jobs and abortion and any other hot-button issues they can find. But they don't ... actually ... BOTHER to try to prove their point. And that's definitely not very good practice for the law, is it?




Couldn't agree with you more.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Private David Lewis on October 10, 2007, 12:59:23 PM
The great thing about internet arguing is that if someone else can't prove that the sky is blue, you can often make them really annoyed by deliberately insisting it's purple.

One thing that I notice about the LSD boards, relative to many others where I've been on the internet, is that here people tend to prefer to show themselves as non-cooperative. Somehow the concept of cooperation suggests to them the concept of weakness or ineptitude. (This is, of course, a logical fallacy, but that's a different issue.) So, when they're in doubt, they aggressively posture about their own independence, lack of support, and aggression, going out of their way to find the small points where they and everyone else DIFFER. It's very important to them to find difference and then get angry about it. In lots of other locations, people are more sanguine about the notion of creating a field in which we can all work, even if there are differences among the denizens of that field.

I suppose it's good practice for the inherently adversarial nature of the law, and it's generally verbally quite accurate to the type of thinking that's required in an LSAT question. People often read my posts as though they were LR or RC questions (another obvious logical fallacy) and then feel they've adequately addressed the issues at hand merely because they've pointed out a weakener, strengthener, or assumption, or found which of the following five answer choices  parallels the method of reading in the stimulus above. But it certainly doesn't actually get at the issues at hand, and it tends to prevent people from actually advocating for their own positions.

Nobody on this thread who CLAIMS to be advocating that racism in America doesn't exist to any important extent has actually DONE any advocating for that claim. They just keep re-stating that position, then things which are supposed inferences from that position, and then things that are only tangentially related to that position, and then a lot of anger about things like taxes and jobs and abortion and any other hot-button issues they can find. But they don't ... actually ... BOTHER to try to prove their point. And that's definitely not very good practice for the law, is it?



 ::)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: obamacon on October 10, 2007, 07:52:16 PM
The controversy was about two things (1) whether the officer clearly identified himself as NYPD when he approached (and touched) the car with his gun out and (2) whether Bell was trying to hurt him or was instead just trying to get away.  Either way, the police have a policy of not firing into moving vehicles.  Even if you believe the police identified themselves clearly and that Bell was trying to hurt them, these facts are insufficient to overcome the clear judgments underlying the policy.  It was very dangerous, and we are lucky that no one else was killed or seriously hurt.

While I appreciate your time and you have added to my knowledge of NYPD procedures, what you're describing isn't racism.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 7S on October 10, 2007, 08:17:52 PM
(http://www.solopassion.com/files/trolls.png)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on October 11, 2007, 09:57:41 PM
Bell Sent Back To Prison

A black Louisiana teenager at the center of the racially charged "Jena 6" case was ordered Thursday to spend 18 months in a juvenile facility, after a judge ruled he had violated his probation for earlier juvenile convictions, a source with knowledge of the court proceedings said.

Mychal Bell, 17, who was freed two weeks ago after his adult criminal conviction for beating a white classmate was overturned, was sent to the Renaissance Home for Youth in Alexandria, Louisiana, the source said.

The decision came at the end of a two-day juvenile court hearing that was closed to the media and public.

Carol Powell-Lexing, one of Bell's attorneys, said the judge's decision would be appealed.

Bell was freed on $45,000 bail on September 27, after an appeals court threw out his conviction on battery and conspiracy charges in adult court and remanded the case to juvenile court.

But Judge J.P. Mauffrey agreed with prosecutors that Bell had violated the probation he was given for four previous juvenile offenses, including two simple battery charges, the sources said.

Bell had been placed on probation until he turned 18.

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who has championed Bell's case, denounced Thursday's decision as "revenge" by the judge and called on Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco to intervene.
Don't Miss

Demonstrators in September took to the streets of the small town of Jena to protest how authorities handled the cases of Bell and five other teens accused of beating white student Justin Barker in December 2006. The incident was a culmination of fights between blacks and whites.

Many said they were angry that the students, dubbed the "Jena 6," were being treated more harshly than three white students who hung nooses from an oak tree on Jena High School property.

The white students were suspended from school but did not face criminal charges. The protesters said they should have been charged with a hate crime
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on October 12, 2007, 07:35:08 AM
Nice. Four previous juvie raps. Emmit Till he ain't ...

yeah I really wasn't feeling the comparison...or the t-shirts made up that reflected the comparison. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 12, 2007, 09:03:26 AM
Quote
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who has championed Bell's case, denounced Thursday's decision as "revenge" by the judge and called on Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco to intervene.

So, how does Bell violating his probation (which would get anyone sent back to prison) count as revenge?  Only in Sharpie's world. 

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: 1654134681665465 on October 12, 2007, 09:07:40 AM
I'm sorry, Louisiana no longer exists. This just in. Jena, along with Morgan City and New Orleans, has sunk into the Gulf of Mexico, thanks to the Federal Government's negligence regarding wetland preservation and reclamation, prevention of other authorities from performing similar acts, and failure to build suitable levees, as contrary to their own legal restrictions. Pictures at six.

Back to you, Fred.


You could have just said that George Bush hates black people.  It would have saved you time and you still would have made the exact same point. 

What about the part where the Democratic leaders of New Orleans and Louisiana (of the last 60 years) failed to act to prevent the tragedy of Katrina and that they consistently redirected federal funds that were supposed to be used to maintain and improve the levies?  I guess that doesn't really matter as long as New Orleans remains a "chocolate city".  (By "chocolate city" I mean that when you make chocolate, you combine it with milk so that there is a nice blend of black and white). 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Eugene Young on October 12, 2007, 10:08:23 AM
Nice. Four previous juvie raps. Emmit Till he ain't ...

Closer to Tawana Brawley.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: naturallybeyoutiful on October 12, 2007, 03:54:32 PM
Nice. Four previous juvie raps. Emmit Till he ain't ...

yeah I really wasn't feeling the comparison...or the t-shirts made up that reflected the comparison. 

 :o  Wow!  I missed all that.  I wish it weren't so, but I'm not surprised, I suppose.  ::smh:: From the LIttle Rock Nine to the Jena 6 -- we need to do better, black people!
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: naturallybeyoutiful on October 12, 2007, 06:31:14 PM
Sorry. I must hazard a rephrase: "we must do better, PEOPLE." It's not just blacks who get fooled into thinking a victim of one racial bias must be himself unblemished.


I appreciate your thoughts, though I stand by what I said.  I think we both can agree that my statement is just as true as yours.  Nonetheless, I am chiefly concerned in this instance not with the responses of "people" in general wrt Jena 6, but with particular black people's misguidedly shallow parallels that reveal a lack of understanding of what it looks like when justice is truly thwarted.  jsia
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on October 13, 2007, 06:32:23 AM
Nice. Four previous juvie raps. Emmit Till he ain't ...

yeah I really wasn't feeling the comparison...or the t-shirts made up that reflected the comparison. 

 :o  Wow!  I missed all that.  I wish it weren't so, but I'm not surprised, I suppose.  ::smh:: From the LIttle Rock Nine to the Jena 6 -- we need to do better, black people!

Yeah I was too through once I saw the t-shirts.  WTF  :o
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 13, 2007, 08:16:44 PM
You are better than most, P.

Thanks, Sands.  This means a lot coming from you. :)

The controversy was about two things (1) whether the officer clearly identified himself as NYPD when he approached (and touched) the car with his gun out and (2) whether Bell was trying to hurt him or was instead just trying to get away.  Either way, the police have a policy of not firing into moving vehicles.  Even if you believe the police identified themselves clearly and that Bell was trying to hurt them, these facts are insufficient to overcome the clear judgments underlying the policy.  It was very dangerous, and we are lucky that no one else was killed or seriously hurt.

While I appreciate your time and you have added to my knowledge of NYPD procedures, what you're describing isn't racism.

I didn't say it was.  I suggested, instead, that the way police respond (e.g., with a willingness to violate policies like this one) to black neighborhoods and black male suspects is different from the way they respond to other neighborhoods and suspects, and I believe this is, in part, a result of racial bias.  In any case, remember, this discussion of police homicides in NYC arose first out of your contention that African and West Indian black men aren't subejct to the same mistreatment as African-American black men (IIRC, I made a list of the most recent police shootings of unarmed civilians, all of whom were black men, and only one of whom -- Bell -- was African American) and extended to a discussion of the Bell shooting in particular only because of your insistence that people mourning Bell's death were a sign of what was wrong about contemporary African-American culture.  You're welcome to try to advance this position.  Perhaps you can even gain a friend in California Cougar out of it.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 13, 2007, 08:20:58 PM
Nice. Four previous juvie raps. Emmit Till he ain't ...

yeah I really wasn't feeling the comparison...or the t-shirts made up that reflected the comparison. 

 :o  Wow!  I missed all that.  I wish it weren't so, but I'm not surprised, I suppose.  ::smh:: From the LIttle Rock Nine to the Jena 6 -- we need to do better, black people!

Yeah I was too through once I saw the t-shirts.  WTF  :o

I've had an eye on the Jena Six for a good part of the last six months, and I've never seen a t-shirt comparing the boys to Emmett Till.  What does it say?

Sorry. I must hazard a rephrase: "we must do better, PEOPLE." It's not just blacks who get fooled into thinking a victim of one racial bias must be himself unblemished.

I appreciate your thoughts, though I stand by what I said.  I think we both can agree that my statement is just as true as yours.  Nonetheless, I am chiefly concerned in this instance not with the responses of "people" in general wrt Jena 6, but with particular black people's misguidedly shallow parallels that reveal a lack of understanding of what it looks like when justice is truly thwarted.  jsia

IMO, justice has been thwarted in this case regardless of Mychal Bell's wrongdoing.  I don't see why he has to be innocent in order to receive fair treatment.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: naturallybeyoutiful on October 13, 2007, 08:42:09 PM
IMO, justice has been thwarted in this case regardless of Mychal Bell's wrongdoing.  I don't see why he has to be innocent in order to receive fair treatment.

I hear you, Miss P, and do agree.  But I just think some are too quick to forget that just because someone is treated unfairly doesn't make him innocent. We don't need conflate these two notions by making Ernie Greens and Emmett Tills out of Mychal Bells.  That's all I'm saying...
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 13, 2007, 08:52:27 PM
IMO, justice has been thwarted in this case regardless of Mychal Bell's wrongdoing.  I don't see why he has to be innocent in order to receive fair treatment.

I hear you, Miss P, and do agree.  But I just think some are too quick to forget that just because someone is treated unfairly doesn't make him innocent. We don't need conflate these two notions by making Ernie Greens and Emmett Tills out of Mychal Bells.  That's all I'm saying...

I understand, though I think part of the reason people do this is because of pressure from folks like final_id to find poster children.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on October 14, 2007, 08:43:59 AM
Nice. Four previous juvie raps. Emmit Till he ain't ...

yeah I really wasn't feeling the comparison...or the t-shirts made up that reflected the comparison. 

 :o  Wow!  I missed all that.  I wish it weren't so, but I'm not surprised, I suppose.  ::smh:: From the LIttle Rock Nine to the Jena 6 -- we need to do better, black people!

Yeah I was too through once I saw the t-shirts.  WTF  :o

I've had an eye on the Jena Six for a good part of the last six months, and I've never seen a t-shirt comparing the boys to Emmett Till.  What does it say?


I didn't see the whole t-shirt and I'm not sure if it caught on.  But in one of the news clips there were a few black teenagers with a black shirt with white lettering.  I think there was a picture in the middle of the shirt of Emmett Till.  The white lettering on the bottom said something to the effect that what's happening to Bell is like a 2007 version of Till.  said something about 50+ years later...Bell

Can some pls 'splain the comparision?  There's really no similarities that I can see other than they were both black young men.   
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on October 14, 2007, 09:25:35 AM
lots more t-shirts

http://www.cafepress.com/buy/Jena/-/cfpt2_/x_27/cfpt_/source_searchBox/copt_/y_2

cant find the one of Till tho
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 14, 2007, 10:00:34 AM
There's a shot of the scene now (lovely stump) in this PDF document, scroll on down:

http://www.t4sj.org/clientimages/39669/revealingracistroots2.pdf

... but it's not directly linked so I can't just img-code it, and I can't find another one on the web.

But the question is: did something catch fire there?  :o


There was a fire at the high school, yes.  I couldn't find the pictures of the stump.  Do you have a page number or anything?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 14, 2007, 10:13:31 AM
I didn't see the whole t-shirt and I'm not sure if it caught on.  But in one of the news clips there were a few black teenagers with a black shirt with white lettering.  I think there was a picture in the middle of the shirt of Emmett Till.  The white lettering on the bottom said something to the effect that what's happening to Bell is like a 2007 version of Till.  said something about 50+ years later...Bell

Can some pls 'splain the comparision?  There's really no similarities that I can see other than they were both black young men.   

I think it's a pretty terrible comparison, particularly since white mobs killed Till completely outside of the criminal justice system.

If there's any similarity at all, it's about the protection and cover some prosecutors and police offer to the perpetrators of racially motivated white-on-black crime (Till's murder and the barn incident, nooses, etc., in Jena).  But even this seems quite a stretch to me.  Still, what's happening in Jena is part of a longer narrative about bias in our criminal justice system -- one that runs through the Scottsboro Boys and the Trenton Six, not Emmett Till. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 14, 2007, 10:24:44 AM
False comparison is:

Till is wrongly accused and punished

Jena six are punished

therefore (assumption!) Jena six must be wrongly accused.

Kind of like an LSAT question ...  :D

I haven't seen anyone deploy this analogy but you; you are setting up a straw man.

It makes no sense for reasons beyond the one you've identified: (1) it equivocates on the term "punished" (extrajudicial murder vs. prosecution, if selective and biased, within our criminal justice system), (2) Emmett Till was never formally accused of a crime (whether he said dirty things to Carolyn Bryant or not), and (3) there's no clear evidence that Till was innocent of having whistled or dirty talked.   The issue in the Till case is that his killers were motivated by a pathological, racist protection of white women from black men and killed Till because he whistled or flirted or dirtytalked; it matters very little which of these things he did. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 14, 2007, 10:58:17 AM
I haven't seen anyone deploy this analogy but you; you are setting up a straw man.

It makes no sense for reasons beyond the one you've identified: (1) it equivocates on the term "punished" (extrajudicial murder vs. prosecution, if selective and biased, within our criminal justice system), (2) Emmett Till was never formally accused of a crime (whether he said dirty things to Carolyn Bryant or not), and (3) there's no clear evidence that Till was innocent of having whistled or dirty talked.   The issue in the Till case is that his killers were motivated by a pathological, racist protection of white women from black men and killed Till because he whistled or flirted or dirtytalked; it matters very little which of these things he did. 

Genius.

Let me help. Here:

I personally don't believe the analogy is true. That's why I refer to it as a FALSE analogy. See, that's what the word "FALSE" in my post is meant to indicate. In my experience, "FALSE" usually means ... well ... false. Therefore, I'm NOT USING THIS ANALOGY. It's a CITATION of what ANOTHER PERSON, a very limited person, might use. Yeesh.

I only posted that analogy to answer another question in this thread, which inquired about how other people might mistakenly make the connection between (a) one of the Jena black defendants and (b) Emmitt Till. My post is an explanation of their faulty reasoning.

Yeesh.

I think I was being unclear.  It must have been my failure to use ALL CAPS for emphasis.  I referred to your "false" analogy as a "straw man," meaning that I understood you to be saying that it didn't make sense --- and to be setting it up as an argument put forward by others whom you oppose.  But no one is making that argument as far as I can tell (as I've said, I've been involved with the case on some level for six months and I haven't seen anyone make it), and it makes even less sense than you imply (this was the point of the word "beyond" in the sentence beginning "It makes no sense for reasons beyond the one you've identified..."). 

My point was simply that you seem to be really hammering on this Emmett Till-Jena Six connection, but you're the one who keeps bringing it up -- not the lawyers or activists involved with the Jena Six.  Moreover, the way you talk about Till (as "innocent" and "punished," for instance) implies to me that you may have confused his case with someone else's.  The question of whether Mychal Bell is like Emmett Till is no more salient, for instance, than the question of whether he is like Ernest Green (the first of the Little Rock Nine to graduate from high school): they are/were all black teenagers facing racial bias in the segregated South -- yet their experiences were completely dissimilar.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 14, 2007, 12:02:25 PM
Ah, now I see what you meant. Sorry. Yes, you should have used MORE CAPS. Then I would have gotten IT.  ::)

But I'm not entirely at fault here. The assumption behind the question was, that people were equating Emmett Till to one of the black defendants in Jena. (This assumption may be false or true. Its verity is beside the point.) I demonstrated one manner in which that false equation could be made. Ya can't really ask the question, "What form of reasoning would allow people to equate A with B?" without also implying, "People are currently equating A with B." Perhaps their method of equating is not identical to the silly one I posed -- it is an absolutely idiotic way of reasoning, I admit; I had intended for it to be rather like Swiss cheese -- but it might indeed have a lot in common with it.

In fact, I've just posted a link to a picture that has similar reasoning. The t-shirt suggests that OJ must be deserving of freedom merely because he is black. Is this not quite close to the faulty reasoning I lampooned in the post in question. Perhaps the OJ t-shirt is intended as ironic. I don't think it is. I do find its (implied) reasoning to be equally idiotic, to the reasoning I put up in my supposed-straw-man post.

Anyway, we're of accord on the idea that the equating (Till = Jena 6) is foolish. We're mildly differing on the subject of whether or not people "in general" are making that equation. I don't wish to suggest that it is a WIDESPREAD generalization (and note, how useful the UPPERCASE was there!), I certainly can't defend that. But I do think it does exist, at least to some degree, this equating of one wronged black boy to several merely because of some contextual similarities. It's important to me to point out the FAULT in that equating, simply because making such an equating does more disservice than service to any push for greater civil rights in Jena.

Sorry I misunderstood. Try to get on that CAPS suggestion, maybe things will turn out better for you.  ;D

Further, I think I'm pretty clear on what happened in the Till case. I agree that it REALLY only has as much to do with the Jena case as the other inapplicable example of Green that you mentioned. But I disagree with you that some THINK it has more to do with the Jena case. In the Till case, my "punished" can be equated to "beaten up killed lynched hassled assumed-to-be-guilty treated-like-dirt not-given-fair-hearing punishment-level-did-not-fit-potential-crime-level" for Till and "incarcerated by means of the justice system" for the Jena youth. The equivocation on "to punish" is indeed part of the faulty equating.


Fair enough.  I apologize for the confusion.

I think the OJ t-shirt is either ironic or incredibly embarrassing (or both, actually).
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: cui bono? on October 14, 2007, 12:16:06 PM
Yeah it’s def a stretch.   WTF!  I just don’t get why they picked the Till incident out of every other situation

IMHO, it's completely lame to make a t-shirt likening the Jena 6 to Till or OJ.  I wonder who came up with it first-  who's responsible for the menacity in thinking.  Just reflects a real lack of knowledge of history

I didn't see the whole t-shirt and I'm not sure if it caught on.  But in one of the news clips there were a few black teenagers with a black shirt with white lettering.  I think there was a picture in the middle of the shirt of Emmett Till.  The white lettering on the bottom said something to the effect that what's happening to Bell is like a 2007 version of Till.  said something about 50+ years later...Bell

Can someone pls 'splain the comparision?  There's really no similarities that I can see other than they were both black young men.   

I think it's a pretty terrible comparison, particularly since white mobs killed Till completely outside of the criminal justice system.

If there's any similarity at all, it's about the protection and cover some prosecutors and police offer to the perpetrators of racially motivated white-on-black crime (Till's murder and the barn incident, nooses, etc., in Jena).  But even this seems quite a stretch to me.  Still, what's happening in Jena is part of a longer narrative about bias in our criminal justice system -- one that runs through the Scottsboro Boys and the Trenton Six, not Emmett Till. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: GoldenAfro on October 14, 2007, 08:53:04 PM
I think I was being unclear.  It must have been my failure to use ALL CAPS for emphasis. 

 :D  LOL
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Private David Lewis on October 15, 2007, 12:35:07 PM
Seems that lots of it has been reported inaccurately

Some of us have known this for quite a while. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 16, 2007, 12:54:24 AM
While this is all marginally interesting if not particularly surprising, I don't really see the relevance.  Two nooses or three?  Eh.  I don't think anyone was hammering on the number.

Someone (I don't remember who -- Pseudo Nym?  Galt, even?) posted some Whitlock earlier in the thread.  I hadn't, however, seen this column.  I know Alan Bean professionally, and I find it absolutely reprehensible that Whitlock -- whose agenda goes nowhere and does nothing for anyone -- would criticize Alan Bean for trying to draw attention to the issues surrounding and underlying the Barker beating.  Maybe it would be helpful to read a credible journalist's (and not a third-rate sports columnist's) account of what happened in Tulia (http://www.amazon.com/Tulia-Cocaine-Corruption-Small-Texas/dp/158648219X).
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 17, 2007, 12:09:30 AM
final_id, are you basing your accusations that Alan Bean is a liar on anything beyond Whitlock's column?  I agree that it's disappointing that journalists would print any advocate's version of events without fact-checking and talking to other sources, but I don't see any evidence that Bean has lied.  The inaccuracies Whitlock cites are either unattributable to Bean or seemingly inadvertent.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 17, 2007, 10:38:51 AM
My disappointment with Bean stems mostly from the Associated Press reports. Whitlock (IIRC) works on a daily newspaper instead.

The article (which was posted much earlier in the thread) highlights some inaccuracies and disputes in Jena Six reporting.  From where do you draw the inference that Bean is "LYING"?  I'm not disputing that reporters got some of the story wrong -- we agree about that, though I don't think it's as significant as you do -- but your accusations seem unfounded.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 17, 2007, 11:25:25 AM
I had understood that when it was pointed out to him recently that there were several factual inaccuracies in the reports he gave to Gannett, Chicago Trib, and BBC, Bean responded, that he knew he had changed many specifics in order to gain greater notoriety.

Where did you get this "understanding" of yours?  This isn't what the Whitlock column said, and it certainly isn't what the AP story said. 

Quote from: final_id
For example, it's pretty clear now to some AP reporters here, that Bean chose to name it as three rather than two nooses. How many nooses, is not germane to the question of whether or not an offensive symbol was presented -- one is enough. But how many IS germane to the question of whether or not he presented facts as facts. If he presented 3 as a fact, yet knew otherwise, he lied about the number. It seems this is the case.

There are other discrepancies -- misquoting deliberately Walker's speech madly out of context, and identifying it as a deliberate and selective threat to black students to intimidate them (fact: it was presented to a combined, racially mixed, whole-school assembly as part of an attempt to quell growing strife), from which the "stroke of a pen" comment was misleadingly extracted by Bean. Stating the nooses were placed "immediately" (Bean's word) after a student requested he be allowed to sit under the tree, when in fact there was a two month delay. Stating the shotgun incident involved a melee at a mixed, all-students-invited, school-sanctioned party when in fact it took place at the front door to a private residence as part of gatekeeping that prevented an assembled and aggressive one-race group from deliberately crashing (violently) a single-race (admittedly therefore racist) private party. Stating that Bell  regularly attended church -- Bean knew that he didn't, because a fellow preacher had been to Bell's home to request his more regular attendance and had reported such to Bean -- and drawing the further inference from that, that Bell is a paragon of virtue. With a juvenile arrest and punishment record which Bean is familar with. Bean doesn't just spin doctor, present facts in their most beneficial possible light, make sure people see the consistent trends behind the facts. He changes facts. Medgar Evers he ain't.

These are inaccuracies but not lies.  Saying something that turns out to be false is not necessarily lying (if you don't know what I mean, do you also have trouble with see/watch, hear/listen?  Read some Wittgenstein). It is not surprising to me that an out-of-town activist with limited connections to the town would have trouble getting a handle on all the complicated facts -- some well preceding his arrival -- swirling around in this case.  You may have additional information from these AP reporter friends of yours, but I don't think you've presented a lick of evidence that Bean is a liar, and you should be more careful about throwing around such accusations.

Quote from: final_id
Please don't make the mistake of understanding that I know utterly what I'm talking about....

Don't worry.

Quote from: final_id
Again and again I find myself saying, "Emmett Till he ain't."


Haven't we been through this already?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Miss P on October 17, 2007, 08:45:13 PM
I may be totally wrong about Bean. I'm sorry that any questioning of his character seems to have caused some here to get angry at the questioner. If his character were unimpeachable, then questioning it would be no threat.

It's not a "threat"; it's insulting to someone I respect a great deal -- and aggravating since it's clear you're building up a case against him out of thin air.*

Can you point me to the part of your post where you recounted your evidence about Bean's "deliberate distortions" and lies?  There is none.  You know why?  Because he came to town when he heard about the arrests, talked to the families and accused kids and his other community contacts, recorded their statements, and then put together a set of press releases and other advocacy materials based on what they said and his own observations of life in Jena.  If, for instance, as you're sure to repeat soon enough, the town minister later approached him and said, "I'm concerned these boys don't come to church as much as they need to," it doesn't make his previous statements that the boys were churchgoers mendacious, and it doesn't make him "dastardly"; it means he was misled. 

Moreover, it's not even in his interests to lie, since he's not getting anything out of this (not even personal glory, since no one except readers of Tulia has ever even heard of Friends of Justice or Alan Bean) and it could only hurt the credibility of his advocacy and his relationships with journalists (his principal asset in this world). He's trying to help people he thinks were aggrieved based on what the hundred or so people with whom he spoke told him.  Did he miss something along the way?  Should he have been more careful?  Was he too trusting?  Perhaps, but that's the job of the journalists to sort out.   He doesn't have the same ethical duties to cross-check and seek opposing viewpoints that he would if he were one of them.  He's just a guy concerned about what happened, trying to draw attention to what he sees as a racist injustice. 


*And if you seek further explanation for my crankiness with you, here you go: You are a pretentious know-it-all; you constantly spew misinformation (not lies); and you've been hostile to me, without cause, one too many times.  I'm generally pretty nice.  Ask anyone.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on January 02, 2009, 11:07:47 AM
Shaking my head on so many levels...


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/30/jena-six-teen-shoots-hims_n_154164.html?show_comment_id=19246301