Monday, September 24, 2007

Black Youth, Conviction in Beating Voided, Will Stay Jailed

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 21 — A court in the central Louisiana town of Jena denied on Friday a request that one of six black teenagers arrested in the beating of a white youth be released from jail.

The ruling came one day after thousands of demonstrators marched through the town to protest law enforcement’s treatment of the defendants.

The decision involved Mychal Bell, 17, the only one of the six yet to stand trial. Mr. Bell was convicted of aggravated second-degree battery this summer, but the conviction was thrown out last week by a Louisiana appeals court, which ruled that he had been mistakenly tried as an adult.

In a closed juvenile court hearing on Friday, Mr. Bell’s lawyers sought to get him released while the local district attorney appeals last week’s ruling.

Citing juvenile court confidentiality rules, Mr. Bell’s lawyer, Lewis Scott, declined to say what had occurred at the hearing, as did an assistant to Judge J. P. Mauffray Jr.

But Darrell Hickman, a lawyer for another of the accused, was at the courthouse in Jena on Friday and confirmed that the judge had refused to free Mr. Bell. “It’s frustrating, that’s what it is,” Mr. Hickman said.

Mr. Hickman said he did not know why the judge was keeping Mr. Bell in jail. In addition to the beating, in which the white youth, Justin Barker, was knocked unconscious and kicked, Mr. Bell has a criminal record that includes arrests for battery and property damage. And another lawyer in the case said Mr. Barker faced medical bills totaling $14,000 as a result of the attack.

The protests in the case have centered on the fact that all but one of the defendants were originally charged with attempted second-degree murder, though those charges were later reduced.

While Mr. Bell remained in jail, a white teenager found himself newly in trouble. On Thursday the police in Alexandria, La., near Jena, arrested that youth, Jeremiah Munsen, 18, after they found hangman’s nooses draped from the back of his pickup truck while he drove near a crowd of people who had taken part in the protest at Jena earlier in the day.

Mr. Munsen was charged with inciting a riot and driving while intoxicated, The Associated Press reported.

orielly on Jena


Bush 1

Bush part 2


Watch all the videos.

How are they different?
What does the public have to say about this event?
How does the article distributed in class differ from the videos?
What really happened?
Which of the above video clips seems to be the most accurate?

Where do we get our news from?


Anonymous said...

I haven't gotten the article, but the public thinks that Mychal Bell should be released. On the other hand, Mr. Bush feels that the reason why the kid did this was because of justice. He feels sad that this incident happened in Jena. All this racial tension started because of the hanging nooses on the tree. The NBC News video clip is the most accurate.
We get our news from everywhere, esp. the public. That's how news articles always exaggerate everything.

Samantha Ross said...

I’m at a lose of words for the situation that is happening in Jena, Louisiana. Mychal should not be the only one on trial. If they are going to convict him as an adult they need to convict the others too. It doesn’t matter if he was the oldest to take part in the beating or if he had a previous record, he doesn’t deserve what is happening to him. Yes beating up that boy was wrong but he was not the only one in the wrong. The school needed to handle the situation better, because if they did the situation would of not spun out of control. In class Alyssa Faller had said something that made me start to think. She stated what if the situation was reverse that it was 6 white boys that beat up a white boy. And to be honest there would not be a trail right now because of the state in which they live in. Louisiana as a state has not evolved and accept diversity, so they still think whites are superior. With all the people that are helping and protesting against the trail, I believe that Mychal will get off trail. Just more people need to speak out and realize what is going on.

Sorybel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sorybel said...

I feel that it is unfair. How is it possible that six people beat up one kid and only one pays the price. This Trail is based on racism. Even though now in America blacks and whites are equal its different in each state. But in society racism is still held. It isn’t fair the way that they treated Mychal, I think all should pay for the cause. Not only cause he is older but they should make justice, even though it was wrong. One of my class mates said to me that its black against white its actually white being racist, but i don’t agree. But on the other hand Courteney Richardson stated that if the conflict was “vise versa”, then it wouldn’t be much of a deal and they wouldn’t of took as far as their taking Mychal.But i think in every state racism exist and each one has different rules to follow but hes actually getting convicted maybe because they see him as the leader.But only because he was the older one. In conclusion, this shouldnt be taken further out because either way its unfair and if they do something about it maybe theres a possibility that Mychal won’t be the only one convicted.

a faller said...

When you hear a speech made by President Bush, you think the speech is going to be on things to do with the war in Iraq, or economy, even things such as our education system. But when President Bush has to talk about a fight that happened in or on school grounds, you know there is much more there than is meeting the eye. I think that the events that are taking place in Jena, Louisiana are not only unnecessary, but unfair to many more people than one. I think that I agree mostly with the video discussion between Bill O’Reilly, and Marc Lamont Hill. I agree with what O’Reilly says when he talks about that the crime that is going to court now, technically has nothing to do with the nooses that were hung from the tree. Now I am sure that since Jena is such a small town, that possibly some words were exchange and there was some reason behind these sex African American students, to do what they did. I feel that we have to deal with the problem that is taking place now, and that is that six African American kids, beat up a white student. Now I do feel that the white kids who hung the nooses on the tree, should get some punishment, because it seems to me that they got let off quit easily. But as for the six African American students, I think that they are of age, and they do know right from wrong, and that they should be tried as adults. What do you think would have happened, if this story did not get blown so out of proportion, do you really think that the six blacks students would have even been in so much trouble?

Anonymous said...

Towns in the south like Jena, LA are notoriously known for racism. Obviously Jim Crow is still alive in Jena and this town lives in the past. Mychal Bell should be released because of past racially-charged events occuring in Jena High School, he and six other black students were somewhat provoked. To answer Alyssa Faller's question from class about the situation being reversed, if this were six white students beating on a black student, none of this would be nationally televised or spoken about by George Bush. They would have gotten away with damn-near murder and not a soul would have helped.-Courtney Wilson

Anonymous said...

courteney richardson

where do I begin.... number 1 not cause I am a african american but do believe that this has a reason cause of race. you have caucasion people putting noose(s) on trees and not one of them is serving any prison time, they actually got sent to another school! what a punishment!! I also disagree with the fact that 6 commited the crime,but 1 is taking serious blame for all man actions. I also feel that bill oreily need to keep his mouth close cause he seem like he speak a bit to much & I also feel that bill oreily is racist. one thing about the media , they have the tendency to never look at things from both point of views only from those who so call claim they were a victim. I personally feel the jena la. is a very racist town and not many blacks will ever be heard.
free mychal bell!!

Anonymous said...

Casey B.
I feel that nobody should comment on this court case because nobody was there and nobody has any knowledge of this situation. I would like to see an interview showing both parties and their sides and stories. I agree with Sorybel when she says that she thinks that it is unfair, because it’s unfair how the students don’t get to speak up and tell the people what had really gone wrong, so that the people can stop making up different stories about this situation.

Anonymous said...

Durkhanai A.
Today in class is when I first heard about what was going on in Louisiana, it made me upset to see such a thing happen in the world now days. Watching the videos in class made me think. Who is telling the truth? Who is lying? In the news they all have different perspectives about the situation. There are shows that have a negativity coming from it and the other shows that may just be trying to speak the truth. I agree with Samantha and Sorybel because the school should have handled it in a better way, because they must have noticed different things going on with the black and white kids and it is more then just unfair. Listening in class they were saying that out of the 6 boys only 1 was going to trail for this which is very unfair because they were all in it so they should be in this together but they must first listen to the kids stories before the jury can say anything and trail them. In class while watching all the videos I was thinking that if this hadn’t reached the news that maybe the judgment for the black boys were going to be unfair. But lets see what the judgment is going to be for these 6 boys.

Anonymous said...

The only reason this is an issue is because of the races of the boys. If the six were white, this would definitely not be a topic on our blog much less on TV. The public was right for protesting and making their voices heard. Had it been the other way around, no one would be talking about this today. Mychael Bell deserved to have a second chance because the crime was not as harsh as it seemed. It was month full of tension between whites and blacks in Jena, LA so events like this were likely to happen.-Whitney Singleton

Anonymous said...

I agree with Casey. No one was really there except for the people involved. I'll be glad when this whole thing is over. This whole situation is causing too much attention to racism and its making racism grow. There needs to be an interview with each of the groups explaining what happened even though we know from the news, but to still see there views and motives from what each group did. Now as for Mychal being the only one in that group being convicted I feel thats unfair. It wasnt a solo act of someone beating up someone else it was a group effort and the group should be punished as well. I feel the whole situatrion could've been handled alot better, but I still feel that its wrtite that the community of Jenna is taking part to voice their opinion as well. The only question I have is that would this whole situation be as big now if their were six white kids who had beatin up one black kid. I think its a possibility because it still shows a form of a race issue depending on the situation.

Anonymous said...

When i watched this video and discussed this in class it deeply disturbed me because first off it started with these white kids hanging out in front of a white tree and then when a black student hung out in front of the tree it was okay that day but the next day they hung nouses on the tree. which really made me upset because it brings me back to a period of time that i thought was over. then another incident happen when six black stundent including Mychael Bell beat up this white student unconsiously, well what i have to say about that is yes i do think that the incident should have been handled a different way but then again there not looking at the situation at hand i never once heard the ask the students what really happen but they broadcast six black students beating up one white student, dont know if that one white student could have said or probably even done too make them want to beat him up but yet the black kids go to jail, and then is released but one stays because he was older,if the court is so called saying that they make fari justice then why isnt Mychael Bell on release because he was older? doesnt make since at all because no matter what age they were they were all high school students. also i dont understand how with the tree incident the students that did put nouses on the tree got suspended but the 6 black students went to jail because they beat up this white student. This is all i have to say aree we really done with racism IN THIS WORLD AND UNFAIR JUSTICE OR DO WE LIVE IN A WORLD WERE HATRED IS ONLY BROUGHT OUT WHEN US AS BLACK PEOPLE DOES SOMETHING WRONG.-OCTAVIA RAMOS

W Brown said...

Is the media trying to change our opinion in this matter? What words are being used to describe the participants in this case?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sorybel. I believe that it is not fair at all that only one student was held responsible and set for trial for the beating of a white student. Even though he was an only adult, the other five student should have been held reponsible because they all took part in the beating. This is definitely a racism situation, In class, Alyssa Faller had said what if it was six white guys beating one white guy. They would have not been on trial. The public need to really open their eyes and realize what is going on because they are careless.

-Simran Kaur

Kristen Fitz said...

I agree with Casey and Samantha, Mychal should not be the only one on trial. If they are going to convict him as an adult they should convict the others as well. It doesn’t really matter that he was the oldest to take part in the beating. They are old enough to know what they are doing. Mychal a previous record but what is it for and how long a go did it happen it mite not even be anything that says he has a violent history with others or it mite an if it is it mite be agents this kid and I don't think he deserve what is happening to him. Going back to Casey we don’t really know what is going on all we know is what we are told and what they show to us and I don’t under stand why they won’t let the students speak so we can hear there side of the story and understand why they did it. and Jena is not a mixed area but is becoming one and they have to learn that there are people different colors and different religions and we and they have except and respect them.

M. Harmon said...

I dont even know where to start. First off, I feel the school should have taken proper action when the nooses were hung, like Alyssa F. said. Being sent to another school isnt going to do much. Second, why is Mychal the only one of the six students on trial? It doesnt matter if he is the oldest or not. All of them are old enough to know right from wrong, all of them knew what they were doing, and all of them should have gotten the same punishment. It seems like the media is taking sides and showing how wrong these six boys were without even looking at their reasons. Nooses were hung! And they were hung for a reason that never should have been overlooked. If the school didnt take proper action, why didnt the government?

Anonymous said...

The way the videos are different is that each video has a different way of telling the story. I agree how Sorybel said that it wasn't fear to Mychal Bell to pay for the crime because he wasn't the only one that was there when the white kid got beat up. There five other students with him. I also agree with what courtney about the part where he said, if there were six white kids and one black kid was getting beat up this would never happened. But O think that this really has to do with racism. I think because of this there will be more racism in the world. I think the second video had better details of what really happened because the first video was kind of like a argument.

Khizer Hayat

jamaal adams said...

Going back to what mr. brown said about the media, I feel with different news stations or channels we are getting opinions rather than the flat out truth. Some pertray mycheal bell as an person trying to get revenge for the nooses hung and fights between the white and black students of the school,other news stations pertray mycheal as an leader of an group that just has intentions on beating white kids losing all sight of the ignitial problem in Jena. I feel that mycheal and the 5 other kids are wrong for the way they went about getting revenge with the kids who hung the nooses. I feeel the real problem started with the parents of the kids who hung the nooses. from most of the white parents who participated in groups like the "KKK" leaving the door open for racism in the new century, this is an world wide problem that has been in exsistance since the americas became the americas which has never found its answer. will racism ever end?

Vickie said...

Its scary to think that in the year 2007 we are still fighting issues about race and letting them divide our country. To anwser Jamaal's question, I don't think racism is going to end any time soon. Mr. Contreras told the T. I. class I took in sophmore year that schools in America are now more racially segregated than the were when Brown vs. the Board of Education was passed in the 1950s.
And, that fact alone shows that our country has not evolved as much as we claim it has.
I agree with Casey that we will never truly know what went on in Jena because we were not their and haven't heard ehat happened directly from the people involved. The media's attention has turned the frictions between races in a small southern town into and out and out circus. I also agree with what Mr. Brown mentioned in class that Mychel Bell would not have been convicted as harshly if the attention of the nation was not on the case. This is because we are no longer looking at an isolated inccident of a few black teens overreacting and beating up a white teen it is now a debate for the whole nation. Mychel Bell was not sentenced or tried by a jury of his peers in Jena he was tried by the entire country.
Going back to what Alyssa said in class, I think if six white kids beat up one black kid they would be murdered. Maybe this is not true for states like Louisianna, but in areas like New York it would be over for them. That is because the white kids would be charged with a hate crime,even if the conflict had nothing to do with race, Whereas if a white kid was beaten by six blacks they would never try it as a hate crime.
Does this situation truly display the problems in our nation or has the meadia turned a small incident into a race war for the new millenium?

W Brown said...


kemi ajirotutu said...

I agree with Samantha I have lose of words because I really don’t know what to say about this situation. Because two races want justice. I do feel that both races was wrong. The white kids had no right to hang the rope on the tree. And the black kids had no right to jump the white boy. If they are going to let all the kids go. They should let mychal go. All this was have been avoid if the school had handled the rope problem

john said...

I have to agree with kemi and Sam on this one. He should not be the only one on trial, if he is on trial the rest should be but since they aren't neither should he. They are no at fault, true they did what they did, but there were also prior events that influenced what happened.
There is no way that they would even have been given a fair trial in Louisiana. Sure they would be given a judge, a lawyer and a jury. But the jury would be prejiduced, its not New York down there. They aren't as diverse as we are, there is even racism going on.
You can't just say these five go free, but we are gonna keep this one. If you absolve five, then the last should be absolved too.

tobin v. said...

I can’t believe racial discrimination still continues. I agree with Samantha in that this community seems to be based a lot around white people and is not ready to accept diversity. I also agree with Alyssa when she said that we really don’t know what happened between the students to initiate this fight especially during a time when these racial actions were taking place. I agree that these six black students had to have a reason for their actions. I don’t think what they did was right but I believe it was completely blown out of proportion because today in public schools all over children are beaten up in like ways or worse. The fact that these students must undergo so much is ridiculous. I also think it’s unfair that Michael Bell might even be sentenced to 22 years in prison because he was the oldest. And I would have to agree with Casey because we can not say which video is accurate and that also we didn’t hear what happened first from the students involved.

Alex P said...

I agree with casey in what he said about nobody actually being at the scene of the said "beatup" and not having any true hard facts about what happened but i also agree with sorybell in saying that this case is obviously based on race. Its ridiculous that this one boy is taking full responsibility of what he and 5 other black students have done. I think that those other 5 were old enough to know what they've done. 22 years in prison? and these other boys walk away unscathed? If you're going to punish one, then punish all or dont do anything at all.

W Brown said...

Closed for Marking Period 1