Politics/Law/Government

Jena 6 latest: Bell returned to jail

Jena 6 defendant Mychal Bell was returned to jail yesterday. The judge, J.P. Mauffrey, who has refused to recuse himself from the case despite calls that he do so, activated suspended sentences on previous charges against Bell after ruling that the fight that precipitated the “Free the Jena 6” movement was a violation of his probation. The charges, which had been adjudicated in juvenile court, were not made public.

Mauffrey had previously denied Bell bond although all the other Jena defendants had received it. His argument was that Bell’s record made his participation in the attack on white student Justin Barker more egregious.

It’s difficult to determine whether this action by Judge Mauffrey is “getting back” at Bell (and his parents) for their participation in the Jena protests or a legitimate outcome of Bell’s terms of probation. Given some of the other behavior of officials in this case, one has to wonder about the impartiality of the judge. Given the anger and defensiveness of the prosecutor, one has to wonder whether any of the Jena 6 can get fair trials. Given the determination of the judge and prosecutor to punish blacks involved in the Jena troubles severely while whites involved receive little or no punishment, one has to wonder if justice and Jena can share anything besides the same first letter.

22 replies »

  1. Yep, just in case people were unsure about the ‘racism’ teh first time, the judge throws him back in jail just to get the message out completely.

    I hope that this changes the comment thread ‘somewhat’ this time around.

    Well, the black doctor that bailed him out wasted some of his 401K retirement fund. He better ask Jackson and Sharpton for his money back.

  2. “racism is being arrested for violating probation? wow, I had no idea.

    Think of how many whites have been put in jail because of this racist law.”

    The issue is not, and never has been, whether laws were violated by the Jena 6 and, especially, Mychal Bell (though I have seen write-ups on witnesses who dispute whether Mychal Bell even threw the first punch). Clearly, some laws were violated in the attack at the school. When laws are violated, that merits punishment.

    The real issue, which so many seem to eager to obfuscate behind the smoke of “they broke the law,” is the selective enforcement of laws. For example, if there is a highway on which every automobile is running at 15 mph over the speed limit, and the drivers are 50% male and 50% female, and the police pull over only the males, that is selective enforcement (assuming it’s not just a statistical blip). If the cops pull over only black people, that’s selective enforcement. If they pull over only white people (and the split is 50/50 white and black) THAT is selective enforcement.

    Laws that are enforced only when a black person is the perpetrator are not just. Remember that, in this instance, a white man, backed up by his buddies who overwhelmingly outnumbered a black kid, broke a bottle over the black kid’s head and got a simple assault charge. According to the Jena authorities, a bottle, used as a club and made into a sharp weapon by the breakage, is not a “weapon,” but a tennis shoe, which may very well have softened the blows, is.

    A white kid pulls a shotgun on some black kids, they wrest it away from him, and the white kid is not charged with assault. The black kids are charged with stealing the weapon. This is Jena at work, again.

    That is selective enforcement. Someone, or some persons, decide that the law applies only when certain people violate it, but not when others violate it. When those certain people happen to be black, and the ones who get off lightly happen to be white, a charge of racism is warranted.

    That’s the problem here, and all the protests of “they broke the law” are not going to make a difference to the basic argument: selective enforcement.

  3. Thank you, JSO – the willful distortion of the issues by a number of parties here (and elsewhere) had me on the verge of a reply of my own that would doubtless have been less measured and coherent than yours.

  4. andyfox1979, on October 13th, 2007 at 4:05 pm Said:

    racism is being arrested for violating probation? wow, I had no idea.

    Okay, I may not be clear about my comments by putting ‘racism’ in quotations. Allow me to express a clearer prespective.

    I did not know that Mychael violated his probation. I was infromed that he had done nothing at all after he was released. If I am mistaken, please inform me; in fact I’ll google some news reports and try to find what he actually did to violate his parole.

    Of course racism exists. What I would say though, if I can be as objective as I can, is that the treatment of Mychael is not making things better to say the least, and is causing both ‘sides’ to polarize along racial lines, rather than encourage dialogue. (I put some things in quotations here because there are blacks who agree with the way he was treated, at least until he was thrown back in jail I think.) Why rub a seventeen year old’s face in the dirt? To show how big a man you are and accept the ‘praise’ of those who shout ‘Yeah! Address this thuggery and persecute him to the fullest extent of the law!’

    Well…let me start googling to find out what he did to violate his parole…

  5. People who commit assault deserve jail, not sympathy, regardless of their race or what their reason was. This is not about racism, its about behaviour. The black community should be ashamed for sticking up for thugs.

    Whoever put up the nooses should be charged with whatever laws they broke, and the thugs who assaulted the kids should be punished too.

    Stop playing the victim race card, you hurt your own cause. Denounce these thug little jerks.

  6. Bob: I’d love it if you and all the others out there who are carrying water – intentionally or not – for the racists in Jena would stop pretending that people are saying things that they aren’t saying.

    Nobody said let the guilty off the hook because they’re black. Ultimately the Jena problem has nothing to do with whether the 6 kids were guilty or not. NOTHING. It has to do with a town where you have white justice and black justice.

    When you pretend that people like me and Jim are saying “free the thugs because they’re black” – and especially when you try to slip in that wicked little canard about the “race card” – you’re doing fine work for people who need to be removed from all authority.

  7. “Nobody said let the guilty off the hook”
    Sorry Sam, but I saw a WHOLE LOTTA people on TV saying exactly that. Free the Jena 6!

    I’m so sick and tired of teenage thug punks assaulting and shooting people across the country, only to have liberals whine about economics and race. My family comes from very poor roots and we knew right and wrong. My Dad was poorer (no $100 sneakers and cell-phones) and knew not to shoot or kick people in the head.

    These kids do not. Lock em up, a good long time. Slap em around when no ones looking. Liberals decry such treatment, but it’s precisely why a family could walk down the street of our downtown in my fathers day, and why you wouldn’t dare attempt the same thing today in the same area.

    Justify it how you like, your side sticks up for criminals when they ought to put the mouthfoaming to discipling these kids.
    Guys like you are the problem.

  8. Sure, lock up the Jena 6 if they’re guilty. But let’s lock up the kids who threatened lynching with nooses hanging from a tree. Let’s lock up the kids who broke a bottle over another kids head, and the kids who threatened another set of kids with a shotgun. And if you’d actually bothered to read what Jim and Sam have written about Jena, you’d notice that they never once asked for the Jena 6 to be freed, only to be treated equally with the white kids who were free and clear after assault with a broken bottle, a shotgun, and after threats of lynching.

    Don’t forget that the kids you want locked up are the black kids and you’re giving a pass to the white kids. Justify it how you like, but your side sticks up for criminals when they ought to put the mouthfoaming to disciplining those kids.

  9. Please, Bob, don’t give me all the crap about your father’s day. Parts of the US have been absolute cesspools of crime at different times throughout our history. And if your father could have owned a cell phone, you must be very young, indeed.

    Now, understand that it’s not useful here, on THIS blog, to talk about what you saw on the idiot box. You’re conversing with people here, not some unspecified “they” on TV. Talk to the people here based on what we have written. Diatribes about the unspecified “they” only make you look very badly educated, indeed.

  10. Bob: if you see people on TV saying something you don’t like, talk to THEM.

    But hey, if you want to make it about YOUR side vs. MY side, then I guess you’re the guy I need to talk to about neo-nazis and other forms of racists who do things like tie blacks behind trucks and drag them to death. And by the way, how dare you come in here and defend the men who murdered Matthew Shepard.

    I mean, there’s only two sides, and if you aren’t on my side you represent all that nastiness that I despise, right?

  11. JS, it was not crap about my father. At one time in this country, poor people had pride and didn’t attempt to use race or pocketbook status to gain sympathies. My father, raised by a single mother, worked from age 12 on, sometimes 2 or 3 jobs at once to get somewhere.

    The point is, in the old days, the people of my father’s neighborhood were as poor as todays “inner city” neighborhoods, but there was little crime because people had morals. They didn’t equate their being poor with an excuse to deal drugs, jack people, rob, beat, whatever.

    It’s not crap, its truth. Crap is making excuses for thugs, who see themselves as “victims” of the injustice “flavor of the month.”

    Brian, I’m not sticking up for those white kids. Lock us ANYONE who breaks the law. Lock up those white boys too. I don’t care about skin color, I care about behaviour. But I realize its much easier to label other people racist than to address youth crime.

  12. Oh please, Bob. Like you’re the only person in the world who came from a family of limited means. I won’t tell you about my own backgound, or the background of one other person who posts regularly here, because I’m not going to try the “more impoverished than thou” stuff you’re trying to pull.

    The “crap” I was talking about was twofold: The first was the idea that your father could have owned a cell phone in his day but was too poor. How long do you think cell phone have existed, Bob?

    The second was this statement of yours: “but it

  13. Working class (being poor) was often equated with criminality in Victorian England (and previous eras) by many (NOT ALL) who were so called “well bred” and of “superior” status. Thankfully, there were enlightened groups of all persuasions who brought sustenance to the poor, education, “love”, fellowship and charity. Effective change was brought about. Thanks to modern day social policies we do not have the Victorian slums of old.

    The difference then was that those who held the power punished incredibly harshly (Australia anyone…because you were hungry, 11 years old and stole a slice of bread) the transgressors. The punishments when looking through the lens of time were excessive and hard but that was then.

    Today, the pendulum in England has swung too far in the other direction. The feral youth generation have become untouchables…

    One group in particular is being left behind in society. Young black boys. Not black girls. Not people of Asian heritage. Not white people. With all the constant monitoring and checks carried out by those who govern you would think they would have come up with a solution by now to address why the boys are failing.

    The ‘system’ cannot be blamed per se because all other cultures and ethnicities are thriving. Those that govern seem at a loss as to how to make a difference when it comes to young black males….

    Culturally, in England, if you come from a strong family orientated background (whatever your colour) you have a better chance in life to know success and be effective. Time and time again the common denominator for young black boys failing is the absence of a strong male figure and the boy being seduced by the culture of the street. And the street looks after its own…

    Time and time again our black leaders speak out. About the breakdown of the family in the black community. How the young are running with gangs.

    …but I talk about my country.

    With regard to Jena:

    When you talk about the pulling of the gun…I can say only this. If I had a gun in my truck and was in a convenience store and three guys (whatever there colour) ran towards me in a threatening manner and I had the time to pull out a weapon for my own defence I would. As a woman I doubt I would be accused of being racist…but if I were male?

    From what I have read the Jena 6 were known troublemakers, always in trouble, Bell was being given a pass because he was a Jock of the Football field and HE decided to commit a hate crime.

    Hate crime: To attack a fellow pupil whilst being white.

    It is not proven that the system has bias in built. It is not proven that the DA is racist. I am sure, however, that there will be further investigation. That report will either back Washington’s conclusion of their being no racist agenda…or it will not.

    I suspect however that there is a great will out there to believe that the system is unfair. That is what I find difficult to swallow. The WILLINGNESS to believe in a racist system.

  14. Holy crap, JS, I can’t believe you put the N word in my mouth. I never said that, and you just stuffed it in my mouth. That’s how the Left fights their battles, by decrying racism. Well all you Jena “activists”, you just keep using these tactics to protect criminals and you’ll never get what you want.

    And for the last Gdam time, I never meant my 80 year old father owned a cell phone…how hard is this. I meant that in his day, being poor really meant poor. And in this day and age, “poor” people often have many luxuries (phones, tvs, video games, sneakers, etc) while my father’s poor family shared clothing and shoes, had no tv or phone, and often didn’t eat. My point was that 1937 poor and 2007 poor are two radically different things. And that that generation didn’t use poor as an excuse to misbehave.
    The point was not a difficult one.

    I don’t care how expensive it is to lock up thugs. Free up room by letting out non-violent drug offenders who shouldn’t be there in the first place, to make room for the violent types.
    And then yes, we’ll pay for the rest. I’m all for paying to punish *who physically attack* other people. There is never an excuse to *put your hands on another human* no matter how “disrespected” you feel. I’m not talking just Jena here, but generally.

    But you and I are finished JS. I will not debate someone who puts the N word in my mouth. Pathetic. I understand my opinions are hard for the “activist community” to take, but I would not use that word, and I’m not a racist. You were way out of line to say that.

  15. “I suspect however that there is a great will out there to believe that the system is unfair. That is what I find difficult to swallow. The WILLINGNESS to believe in a racist system.”

    I must be reading this wrong.

  16. andyfox1979: No.

    I am not political but for some reason find this site interesting. My daughter and son are taking out American citizenship as their Father is a citizen of the USA now.

    Unlike a lot of individuals I do not subscribe to the idea that the system/s of the West is/are anti its citizens. There are flaws certainly, and check and balances are necessary but on the whole I’ve yet to see another country come close to matching the success of the USA and other Western countries.

    It will not always be so I fear though…

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