Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Quick Update

I just wanted to post this quick update. As many of you probably already know, there was a rally today in Jena, Louisiana to show support for the Jena 6. News sources stated the rally was about 15,000 to 20,000 strong. That is very impressive. And perhaps I'm late with this observation, but it seems this injustice is finally receiving the publicity and outrage it deserves.

As my previous update post mentions, even with recent actions by higher courts, the Jena 6 still need help. Amnesty International has been organizing great email petition campaigns and they have a new one asking the Dept of Justice (DOJ) to get involved and review the case. If you've acted through Amnesty International before (like one of the previous links in my previous posts on the Jena 6) then you simply enter your email and it will tell you if you have already taken this petition action before or not. The DOJ seriously needs to get involved, if for nothing more than to keep the spotlight (i.e. publicity and transparency) on the case. Also, with the incompetent and corrupt Alberto Gonzales no longer at the helm of the DOJ there is a significantly greater chance the DOJ will actually do something about it. Though the charges and case are indeed in state court. What I mean to say is that the petition is not asking the DOJ to take over the case (that is not possible nor prudent, proper, etc), but that the DOJ can investigate civil rights/equal treatment violations, as well as investigate the other incidents leading up to the Jena 6 fight and the actions the local DA has taken. Though even DOJ involvement might be lacking (though with greater public pressure and scrutiny this is less likely). Earlier the US Attorney for the region conducted a town hall meeting in Jena. While the US Attorney (Donald Washington) did make some insightful points (such as prosecuting juveniles for hate crimes would be completed in such a manner as to be invisible to the public; though I must say I find this a bit suspicious as well and I am having trouble finding sources through internet searches on what is the proper protocol of prosecuting a juvenile for a hate crime), I find some of his statements highly suspicious. None more so than stating at the town meeting that he found no evidence of unfair prosecution or sentencing of the Jena 6 (this isn't a direct quote so let's hope he was misunderstood). Washington also concluded that there was no legal connection with the noose incident and the Jena 6 fight (though he stresses that there was no 'legal' connection a prosecutor could bring up in court, this also sounds suspicious to me, and even without the noose incident there were the string of racially charged fights [white on black] that preceded the Jena 6 incident).

Once again an intended short post has turned long. I'll end it here.

5 comments:

Anonymous Boxer said...

Quality and Quantity!

LA said...

V - It was all over the news here in Los Angeles yesterday. In fact, there were several peaceful rallies here in support of the big one going on in LA. It's great to see this issue finally get the attention it deserves!

Diane said...

v - I don't know much about juvenile law, but as a general rule, the prosecutions are considered more confidential than adult criminal prosecutions, for instance, the court rooms are closed to the public, names aren't released, etc.

sage said...

As more details comes out about this case, it seems to me that there is blame to go around down there. I am also find myself struggling with a lot of what went on when I was a youth--especially in the 9th grade (I written some about it) when I was both jumped by blacks kids and then retaliating and also particiapating in retaliation on behalf of others. It's not a pretty time in my life, and I find myself going back there a lot (in my mind), especially after reading Tyson's book this summer (which I reviewed).

D.O.M. Dan said...

I'm a few days late in leaving a comment, but I did see quite a bit on the local news regarding the Jena 6 rallies. I'm glad to see this issue is getting the national attention it deserves.