For Immediate Release
Mychael Bell Plea Not the End of Fight For Justice
Contact: D. Yobachi Boswell 615-478-5204 * LionRunner777@yahoo.com
On yesterday, Monday December 3, District Attorney Reed Walters offered a plea deal to Mychael Bell in the Jena 6 Case, dropping the conspiracy charge; leaving Mr. Bell an 18 months sentence on second degree battery. The sentence also includes time served, and is to run concurrent with his present parole violation incarceration.
While we are delighted that an overzealous and malicious prosecution that brought charges which would have made Mychael Bell eligible for approximately 100 years of incarceration will now see the young man out of juvenile corrections by next summer, to resume his young life; let it be understood that the Afrosphere Jena 6 Coalition remains steadfast in our position that this prosecution was unjust, we remain steadfast in fighting against injustice in this particular case for the other 5 young men, and we will continue to fight against unequal justice in the legal system across the country; which is primarily racially and socio-economically based.
Attorney, and noted "AfroSpear" Blogger Francis L. Holland, Esq states "AfroSpear bloggers and our audiences will continue to assert our role as forceful advocates of equal justice for Blacks in the American justice system…we will continue to insist that ALL ADULT AND JUVENILE CHARGES AGAINST ALL 6 DEFENDANTS be dropped and foreclosed for the future, and that de jure and de facto segregation be ended at Jena High School...we have to ask ourselves whether the final result in this criminal case is what it would have been if Mychal D. Bell were white. We know that it isn't. Black young people in Jena should not go to jail while white students commit the same acts with impunity."
There is a greater issue highlighted here of how the legal system overcharges people to force them into a corner to take a lesser deal, in order not to risk being convicted on higher trumped up charges, and to point the finger at others who may very well be innocent; in order to save themselves.
It highlights the criminalization of Black youth to get them in the system, because once there in the system of incarceration and parole they are virtually a ward of the state; and this provides needed bodies for the for-profit prison industrial complex to make money. They can't profit unless they have a continued stream of bodies in the cells.
What's most interesting here is if D.A. Reed Walters actually believed that Bell and others attempted to kill Justin Barker, how could he possibly settle for 18 months? He tried to lock Bell down for 100 years and then when that didn't fly legally; 22 year.
In Reed Walters own Op-ed piece in the New York Times on September 26, when defending his actions as being from a purely legal standpoint, he states himself that "a district attorney cannot take people to trial for acts not covered in the statutes."
If he doesn't really believe, and further did not have the evidence to support the charge that six Black students attempted to commit murder, and that there was a conspiracy; how could he have ever rightfully charged the former, and how could he have ethically and legally tried Mychael Bell on the latter.
Those of us in the Afrosphere Jena 6 Coalition and others will continue to stand up against unequal justice. We will Fight, and we will Win! video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7253600219767288651
AfroSphere Jena 6 Coalition
D. Yobachi Boswell, Coordinator
BlackPerspective.net and TheJena6Blog.blogspot.com