Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jena: One Down, Five to Go into the Belly of the Beast

One by one, they are picking our children off, out of our hands, out of our control, out of our schools, and sending them straight into prison. No matter that the African-American community was so outraged at the Jena 6 case that they sent 30,000 people to Louisiana to protest the injustice. Some dogmatic people can withstand world opinion and outrage.

After a nationwide fight to get young 17-year old Mychal Bell out of jail, and posting a $45,000 bail, we as a people had hardly licked our wound before they sent him back to jail- this time with an 18-month prison sentence, under the technical auspices of probation violation.

Call it the Devil’s Catch-22: At the allegation of a second offense, the probated first offense can be revoked without consideration of Due Process.

If the judge and the prosecutor concurred not to pursue the schoolyard fight as an assault, they would not have revoked his probation.

So, why did they let Bell out of jail on a $45,000 bail? They took his money one day and put him back in jail the next day, but only because they were ordered by the higher court to give the child a bail hearing. After nine months of incarceration, minus bail money provided by thousands of well-wishers, he was back where he started-in jail- worse, in prison doing 18-months. Maliciously delicious to the Devil’s appetite because, by law, no one can save the little black boy- don’t call him Mychal, call him Sambo for breakfast.

There is something fishy here. Are the others of the Jena 6 going to be devoured before our eyes also? Here is an update:

Theodore Shaw - According to Robert McDuff, one of three legal representatives for Shaw, there will be a hearing on Nov. 7 and the trial is slated to begin on Jan. 28, 2008. Shaw has not received any formal education since he was expelled by the school board in December 2006.

Ryan Simmons has the least amount of charges, according to his attorney, William Whatley. His family moved away from Jena, La. No trial date has been set.

Robert Bailey has more charges than any other defendant. According to his attorney, Jim Boren, there will be a motion hearing on Nov. 7. Bailey's trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 28. The day after the rally, his mother, Caseptla Bailey, said her son has also not received any education since he was expelled. Several attempts to reinstate Bailey have failed. The family still lives in Jena, La.

Bryan Purvis has a hearing on Nov. 7. According to his mother, Tina Jones, he has moved to another state. He attended private school last year but is attending public school this year.

Carwin Jones, the youngest member of the group, has retained a team of attorneys but little else has been reported about his case.


  1. For more than three years, authors Bill Cosby and Alvin F. Poussaint have been listening to the voices at community call-outs in cities across the country. Their latest book, Come On People, due out October 9 in bookstores nationwide, combines messages of personal responsibility with practical solutions, and retells the incredible stories shared at these call-outs.

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  2. I read some of the transcript of the Meet The Press interview.