Yet More Good News

I meant to include this in the previous post, hence the “Other Good News…” title. Oh well. Life distracts me sometimes.

Mychal Bell, the only one of the Jena 6 to remain in prison, was freed yesterday on reduced bond after the district attorney gave up his quest to try the teenager as an adult. Bell, who was 16 at the time of his arrest, was tried and convicted of aggravated battery as an adult and could have faced 15 years in prison, but the conviction was overturned by the Circuit Court of Appeals because of his age. He still faces retrial as a juvenile and could be held till he turns 21 if convicted.

This seems like a reasonable outcome to me. Yes, I know he had a juvenile record, which apparently influenced the DA’s decision to try him as an adult. How I know is problematic; aren’t juvenile records supposed to be sealed? The initial attempted murder charges smacked of gross overreaction, and the disparity between those charges and the ones faced by a white kid who jumped and beat up a black kid at an off-campus party sure smelled like racism. The DA’s insistence on trying Bell as an adult just ended up wasting resources.

I’m sure this won’t be the end of the controversy. Four teenagers still face charges that could put them away for 15 years and, to my mind, astronomically increase the chances that they’ll end up as adult criminals after they’re released. Prison doesn’t exactly teach young people how to function as responsible citizens in the real world. One of them has reportedly posted stupid pictures of himself acting like a little twerp at his MySpace page (the pictures have since been removed). A relative says they’re “not worried” about the pictures. They should be. These kids weren’t treated fairly, but that doesn’t make them heroes.

The victim, who was reportedly taunting and using racial slurs just before the attack, will likely learn nothing of value. His worst racist tendencies have been validated, and he, along with the town’s mayor, is now becoming a pawn of the white supremacist movement, which is doing everything it can to further exacerbate tensions and incite further violence in Jena. And making much of the MySpace pictures, to the accompaniment of foaming-at-the-mouth racial slurs (no, I won’t link to their nastiness).

As for the kids who hung the nooses, I’d like to think that their school suspension was followed by more sustained punishment at home, and that someone undertook to explain to them just why their actions were so offensive and threatening. I’d like to think they didn’t already know. I’m afraid I’m wrong.

At least Mychal Bell is home with his family tonight after 10 months in jail, and that’s as a good thing.

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4 Responses to “Yet More Good News”

  1. Larry says:

    This entire thing still is filled with hate and racism that could blow up in other ways.

  2. Kathy says:

    Larry, I hope it doesn’t, but the potential is certainly there. Perhaps some town leaders (other than the mayor) will take this as a wake-up call.

  3. Nothing becomes of violence. Two wrongs do not make a right. I think what is not being covered as well, is the fact that a crime WAS committed. No one wants to cover that, everyone wants to scream racism- I guess it is the politically correct thing to do. That is all that covered on the major networks, “Bill O’Reilly makes a fairly obvious comment but he is deemed a racist”, “Don Imus makes a joke and loses his job”, “Al Sharpton can make all the racist comments he wants but nothing is ever said of it”. There is a double standard and the liberal, lack-of-morals group doesnt want to do or say anything that could “possibly” upset the black movement. I am sure some type of lawsuit will come of this and this will further fuel the argument for reparations AKA extortion. If you want to improve race relations in this country, quit equating everything to race and lets put everyone on a level playing field. The fact that the civil rights era in Bham is brought up every year just incites hatred and animosity on both sides Why is there such emphasis put on black history month? Why are things shoved down our throats rather than letting us decide if that is something that is necesarry or not. How many victims are there of affrimative action? This is one of the worst legislations that could have been passed through congress– other than hate crime bill. What you are doing is actually punishing hard working individuals that had nothing to do what happened in earlier history. This acutally teaches young black individuals that you dont have to work hard or achieve, all you have to do is be black and you will succeed in your job. I am sure that I have stated my argument the worng way but when this crap is forced down your throat everyday, you have to stand up and say enough is enough. Tomorrow I will discuss how auto manuf in this state are introducing domestic partner benefits. I am sure all the gays will be jumping for joy now– eventhough straight people are the ones that are losing out and being discriminated against. Its funny how my insurance will not my cover neice who I raise and care for but yet some gay guy and his butt buddy will have the medical insurance they need– and they will need it eventually.

  4. Jennifer says:

    ooooh, Enough Already, I think you need to go back to reading the Enquirer. There’s a good article on alien vegetables invading the planet in this weeks issue.

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