Jena Six Update: Mychal Bell's Conviction Is Overturned

This post, written by Garlin II, originally appeared on Brave New Films

One of the Jena 6 is now free closer to free.

His conspiracy charge was already thrown out. Now, his case will be handled exclusively in juvenile court, which is where it should have been all along.

AP reports:

Conviction in Jena case overturned

Judges rule teen should not have been tried as adult in racially tinged case

The Associated Press

Updated: 7:40 p.m. ET Sept 14, 2007

JENA, La. - A state appeals court Friday tossed out the aggravated battery conviction that could have sent a black teenager to prison for 15 years in last year's beating of a white classmate in the racially tense Louisiana town of Jena.

Mychal Bell, who was 16 at the time of the December beating, should not have been tried as an adult on the battery charge, the state Third Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles ruled.

Bell is one of six black Jena High School students charged in an attack on fellow student Justin Barker, and one of five originally charged as adults with attempted second-degree murder.

The charges brought widespread criticism that blacks were being treated more harshly than whites after racial confrontations and fights at their school.

Attorney Louis Scott of Monroe said he didn't know whether Bell, whose bond was set at $90,000, would get out of jail immediately.

"It means that at the present time all charges are dismissed," Scott said. "But we don't know what approach the prosecution is going to take -- whether they will re-charge him, where he would have to be subjected to bail all over again or not.

"We're working on that right now," he said.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.