Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Last Word on Jena 6

We have investigated and flushed out the facts in the Jena 6 case. Together, we have focused international attention upon a case of Unequal Treatment Under the Law. Six black teenagers were being charged with “attempted murder” and “conspiracy to commit murder” in adult court, where they could each receive up to 80 years. This was Jena, Louisiana, but it signified what is happening to thousands of black male youth across America.

Everyone agrees that the charges against the boys were excessive, but they never thought about how excessive. A recent Georgia case points out how exaggerated charges and excessive punishment can and do constitute Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

The case of Genarlow Wilson, a 17 year old, was charged with “sexual molestation” of a consenting 15-year-old girl. He was then sentenced to 10 years in prison. The Georgia state law under which he was convicted was later changed, but could not be applied retroactively. The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that such charges and punishment were so excessive that it constituted Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

Indeed Cruel, but not hardly Unusual for black boys- it happens every day. Had not the world looked in on the all-white jury conviction of 17-year old Mychal Bell, all six of these youth would be on their way down the river with 80-year prison sentences for a schoolyard fight.

We hear inflammatory words like “thugs” to describe these boys, but when we look at their profile, we find that these were typical high school students with relatively good records before the fight. By calling them “thugs” and painting a negative image, some people would have us to consent to locking these teenagers up and throwing away their lives- over nonsense.

From September 2006- the time when three white students dangled nooses across a schoolyard tree- there had been racial tension at Jena High School, leading up to and culminating in the December 4, 2006 beating of Justin Barker. The prosecutor and the court contend no connection between the two incidents, thereby making any reference to the nooses “irrelevant” and inadmissible as a defense.

This would discount the testimony of outraged black parents at the noose hanging incident. It would discount the black student protest that escalated into racial fights on campus. Students have testified of a continual series of fights and rumors of fights. One student claimed that on the day in question, there were three fights, not just one. There were fights in school and out in the neighborhood. Someone tried to burn down the school, and each side started accusing the other of setting the fire.

At every turn of new violence, District Attorney Reed Walters would make a public statement, disassociating these events from the original noose incident- as if by the power of his word, he can make it so. In any case, without the admission of all relevant evidence, the Jena 6 boys will go to prison, not for an unprovoked assault, but because they stood up against tyranny and white terrorism in their community. That would make them Political Prisoners.


  1. A juvenile record with four feloney convictions, two for battery and two property for destruction, is a "relatively good record".

    Who burned down the school?

  2. dsf, Relative is relative, not perfect. The thing we should look at is something I see all the time. A juvenile arrested for a fight ("battery" is the charge if you win the fight... "assault" if you lose the fight). I have seen juvenile accept plea bargains just to get out of jail, rather than fight the charges. Most prior convictions could be resolved without prosecution. So, I am not particularly moved by previous convictions. (I've been there, done that). Go back and examine the record, if the charges were severe, these juveniles would have been locked up before the Dec. 4 incident. The fact that they were free, in public school, playing sports without restriction, and making decent grades, says (to me) that these were not real bad boys. Once they get one conviction, it is easy to pile on more, based on the previous. This is why Mychal Bell was a sitting duck and slammed... too many priors. But prior conviction or not, if someone like the Mafia hung a noose on your door, I guess it would not be easy to swallow... at least, make you uncomfortable. I have a prior conviction and I'm 61 years old. I still wouldn't take it... no nooses on my front door without doing something about it. And, please, don't give me a reason to punch somebody for taunting me. I go bananas at the thought.

  3. DSF:In the United States, where the police and prosecutors are far more concerned with the behavior of Black young people than that of white young people, it has become all too common to have a criminal record of some sort. That doesn't mean that every Black youth in America is guilty, or that every Black youth who is accused is guilty, or that every Black youth should be imprisoned for the rest of his life. Just as we doubt the validity of the current convictions, we also doubt the equal justice of the prior convictions, and of the systematic persecution that led to these convictions.

    You insinuate that, because the school was burned, so these young people must have burned the school. That's like insinuating that any white accused in California MUST have started the wildfires there, with no specific evidence that they did so.

    The truth is that ANYBODY could have burned down the school, including any teacher, any white student, any Black student, any white parent and any Black parent, as well as any member of the Jena Fire Department. We just don't know. So stop insinuating that you know something that you don't.

  4. “Had not the world looked in on the all-white jury conviction of 17-year old Mychal Bell, all six of these youth would be on their way down the river with 80-year prison sentences for a schoolyard fight.”


    And furthermore the example of black people standing up and speaking out about injustice on a national scale, brings about change within their satanic judicial system. If we remain silent, while they destroy our youth, then they will continue to cast these types of convictions without any retaliatory opposition.