Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jena Six Trial Must Be Open to the Public, Higher Court Rules.

Howard Witt, of the Chicago Tribune, reports that a Louisiana judged has ruled on appeal that the Jena Six Mychal D. Bell trial must be held in open court, a win for the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers filed suit to open the trial to public scrutiny:
JENA, La. - A judge ruled Wednesday that the public and the news media should have full access to all legal proceedings involving Mychal Bell, one of the teenage defendants in the racially charged Jena 6 case in Louisiana whose prosecution had been shrouded in secrecy on orders of the trial judge.

Ruling in a lawsuit brought by the Chicago Tribune and joined by a coalition of major U.S. media companies, Rapides Parish District Judge Thomas Yeager ordered that Bell's upcoming criminal trial, as well as any pretrial hearings, must be open to the press and the public. Yeager also ordered that the court record and transcripts of any closed proceedings held so far be made available to the news media, and that attorneys for Bell be released from the trial judge's gag order directing them not to speak about the case.

"The right to an open trial is one that's very important," Yeager said in making his ruling, "so that the public has confidence in what we do." Chicago Tribune


dsf said...

Finally, we get to learn all the details to Bell's criminal career, including and especially how violent was his beating of his ex-girlfriend.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Would Michael D. Bell be facing 22 years in prison if he were white and not Black? Absolutely not! We demand equal justice for Michael D. Bell.

Whites love to insist that individual Blacks are so bad that unequal justice is appropriate for them, and that they do not deserve equal justice.

Unequal justice is NEVER, EVER appropriate. Color-based justice is always unconstitutional and morally wrong, no matter what the accused may have done in the past.

Villager said...

Francis, thank you for taking time to record this information for posterity.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Thanks for saying so, Villager!

Bruce Larson*Moore said...


Suspended upon the limbs and branches of society hangs a self destructive, taut line of inhuman power,

Bound within an illusion of glory and grace on the living tree of mankind,

Crossing a river of uncounted souls, holding on to the hope of a shared love without the fall of color, history nor gender,

Swinging upon the tree of humanity a fabricated innocence of denial, uneasily waiting, silently begging, desperately pleading for the open expression, healing discussion and outward, public display of the true sins hung upon swinging trees across the globe.

©Bruce Larson*Moore

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Thank you for your poem, Bruce!

dsf said...

I guess you all didn't hear that Mychal Bell copped a plea and turned snitch. Also, Barker's family filed a lawsuit. Things just got a bit thornier for the remaining Jena 5, eh?

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