This comes to us Live from Jena
Posted: 05 Sep 2007 03:46 PM CDT
CNN Reporting on the Jena 6 Case
An enormous CNN truck was parked at the LaSalle Parish courthouse all day yesterday and it’s still there today. You can imagine how surreal it feels to walk into the lobby of the Townsmen Inn in Jena, or sit down with an Egg McMuffin at the Jena McDonalds and see the Jena story broadcasting live on CNN. The coverage hasn’t always been accurate, but the response has been immediate (my cell phone has been ringing every five minutes).
I will have more to say about developments in Jena when I get home. The big news is that Mychal Bell now faces a maximum of 15 years in prison after the conspiracy conviction was vacated by judge JP Mauffray. That is still unacceptable, of course, but it is a baby step in the right direction.
The courtroom was crammed throughout the day–at times it was difficult to get a seat. Half of the people in attendance appeared to be attorneys, many of them recent recruits to the legal fight. When a story gets the kind of round-the-clock coverage the Jena 6 has been receiving from CNN it is on the verge of becoming a national story. I was on a Pacifica radio program from Washington, DC this morning with Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School (who has agreed to lend his prestige and expertise to the legal struggle). Dr. Ogletree told the host that Jena was the most important civil rights legal case since the Tulia drug sting (the case that created Friends of Justice). I think he’s right.
More when I return to Arlington.
Friends of Justice
3415 Ainsworth Court
Arlington, TX 76016
806-729-7889 or 817-457-0025