Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mychal Bell left Hanging

<--Emancipation Oak But help has arrived!

As it would turn out, Bill Quigley; before he left the country, failed to provide certificate of service to the opposing attorneys notifying them of new motions, as per the law.

The attorney now handling Mychal Bell's case has established a team of lawyers to sift through the uncertain.

The scenario of the famed civil rights attorney, forgetting such a mundane legal chore is puzzling to say the least. That, coupled with actions by some ACLU staff is suspect. The new attorney was able to file motions to fire Blane Willaims,
and get a hearing on these actions.

3 August 2007

Revs. Jackson and Sharpton plan trip to show support for Jena Six
By Abbey Brown

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday said the charges against the six black teens known as the "Jena Six" are "disgraceful" and said he is coming to Jena to spread a message of "reconciliation rather than retaliation."
Although the date for his visit isn't yet final, the Rev. Al Sharpton's office confirmed Wednesday that he will be speaking in support of the students some of whom still face attempted murder charges at 11 a.m. Sunday at Trout Creek Baptist Church in Jena.

Robert Bailey Jr., Mychal Bell, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Theo Shaw and an unnamed juvenile were charged in December with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit the same after a Dec. 4 attack that left white student Justin Barker unconscious and in need of medical attention.

Bell was convicted in June of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit that crime the highest charge possible after LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters reduced the charges just before the trial began. He faces more than 20 years in prison when sentenced on Sept. 20.
Shaw, who was behind bars for more than seven months, was recently released in lieu of bond after family and supporters raised enough cash and property for the $90,000 bond. Bell remains behind bars.

The case has captured headlines and airtime across the world in both alternative and mainstream media, including recent segments on CNN, NBC and CBS nightly news.

But one of Bell's appeals attorneys, Bob Noel of Monroe, said he hopes the attention from both the media and national public figures will have no effect on the case positive or negative.

"I would hope not," he said of any possible effects. "I hope the outcome of the case is based solely upon the law as it applies to this case, and if it is, I feel very positive about the outcome."

Noel, along with the lead attorney in the case, Louis Scott, and other Monroe attorneys Lee Perkins, Peggy Sullivan and Carol Powell-Lexing, signed on to represent Bell through the appeals process. The attorneys are all members of the 4th Judicial District Indigent Defenders Board but aren't being contracted to do this.

All agreed to handle the defense work pro-bono after being contacted by Scott, who was contacted by Bell's father, Marcus Jones.

Alexandria defense attorney Mike Small said the widespread attention generated by the cases will virtually ensure that a motion to change venue for the other defendants will be granted.

"Given the polarization caused by these cases, it is difficult for me to imagine fair and impartial juries can be selected in LaSalle Parish," he said.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jena's Six

Jena Six Defense Committee
P.O. Box 2798
Jena, Louisiana 71342

Bill Quigley was in Jena today at the LaSalle Correctional Center and the LaSalle Parish Courthouse. Quigley was in the prison to see, Mychal Bell who is awaiting sentencing on July 31st 2007. Mr. Quigley filed papers from Mychal Bell to dismiss Blane Williams as his [Bell's] legal counsel. Working in concord with Tory Pegram of the Louisiana ACLU and others, the process to free Mychal Bell & the Jena Six from this unlawful prosecution is in process. However, a swirl of events are occurring as the LaSalle system continues its denial of equal justice to all of its citizens. The incident at the church is being alledgedly investigated by the LaSalle Parish Sheriff.

The struggle continues as plantation paternalism, which is blind to the fact of its immoral practices; continues to attempt to conquer and divide. Attorneys who are coming in to the fray are wary of the tactics, that seek to dismantle freedoms won long ago. Independent civil and human rights facilitators are working under cover in the Jena area. The Monroe Initiative has focused on the Bell conviction, in an effort to dismantle the denial of equal justice. Monroe, Louisiana is the birthplace of Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the legendary Black Panther Party.

It has been suggested, that attorneys will be acquired pro bono; however, Robert Bailey, Jr., has Sam Thomas of Tallulah; Bryant Purvis has Daryl Hickmon of Alexandria; Carwin Jones has Mike Nunnery of Baton Rouge; Theodore Shaw has George Tucker of Hammond enrolled; and Mychal Bell has a team assembled with a so far unspecified lead attorney. It has been stated that the un-named juvenile, who was named on the BBC has a court appointed attorney. The rarely referenced 7th person Ryan Simmons, charged in the gun incident only has reportedly aggressive white attorney; who took Judge Mauffray to task in earlier hearings.

Also, a LaSalle Parish NAACP Branch resolution was effectively push through the national meeting, by a representative of the Louisiana NAACP State Conference in the National meeting in Detroit, Michigan in progress since July 7th through July 12th. The significance of the National Resolution is that a concerted response from the NAACP can be applied to the Jena debacle, with support from other groups such as Rainbow Push, Urban League, SCLC and BAMN. The ACLU has been in Jena from the out set. The family members have had unparalled access from the state ACLU through Tory Pegram & its New York offices, through King Downing. It is now time for the families of the Jena six to began the long process of living with and moving forward with the actions which must be taken hereafter.

The Nation of Islam in Monroe has sought ways to be of assistance to the efforts in Jena. On the night of Thursday July 5th, the Nation was in attendance, and gave two seperate donations to the Jena Six Defense Committee. The Minister Lawrence Muhammad, has been in contact with numerous officials urging, their assistance in what is happening in Jena. The regional headquarters of the Nation in Houston, is spearheading a national Islamic involvement.

All parties concerned at this point must work in their particular area of expertise and coordinate with all entities involved. Each group must, appoint a person to spearhead its involvement.

It must be a concerted effort.