Friday, September 28, 2007

Academic Application: September 27, 2007

Jena Six. You've read about it or heard it on the news, but you don't quite understand the situation. Here is a brief summary from Wikipedia which should help. (Not really an "Application" this week, more of an "Awareness")

The Jena Six refers to a group of six black teenagers who have been charged with the beating of a white teenager at Jena High School in Jena, Louisiana, on December 4, 2006. The beating occured after a series of racially charged incidents that began when nooses were hung from a tree at Jena High School after black students sat beneath the tree. The six black students were initially charged with attempted second degree murder and conspiracy to commit attempted second degree murder.

Mychal Bell, the only member of the "Jena Six" to be tried so far, has had his convictions thrown out, one by the trial judge[3] and the other by the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal.[4] Both convictions were overturned on the grounds that the defendant should have been tried as a juvenile, not as an adult, because he was sixteen when the incident occured.[3][2][5] Bell was incarcerated for almost 10 months, before being released on September 27, 2007, after posting bail. The District Attorney has indicated he does not plan to appeal further, meaning that Bell will be tried as a juvenile.

........Some have pointed out inaccurate reporting by the media. In his article, Jason Whitlock of brought up the fact that people keep referring to the attack as a "schoolyard fight" due to the lack of serious injuries. He also pointed out that in the beginning, nobody brought up the fact that Mychal Bell's public defender was black or that the jury was all-white because none of the blacks who were summoned showed up. Whitlock also criticizes for the lack of reporting Bell's prior criminal history.[63]

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