Revolution #102, September 23, 2007

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Appeals Court Throws Out Mychal Bell’s Conviction…

On Friday, September 14, Louisiana's Third Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Mychal Bell's conviction of second-degree battery. In response to an emergency appeal by Bell’s lawyers, the court ruled that Bell had been tried improperly as an adult.

At the same time, as we go to press, Mychal Bell is still in jail and STILL under the threat of continuing prosecution. And, the other five Black youth of the Jena 6 are still facing charges that could put them behind bars for years. AP reports that, according to attorney George Tucker, the reversal of Bell’s conviction will not affect the four other teenagers also charged as adults, because they were 17 years old at the time of the fight and no longer considered juveniles. PEOPLE STILL NEED TO COME TO JENA ON SEPTEMBER 20 TO DEMAND THAT THE JENA 6 MUST ALL BE FREE!

The overturning of Bell’s conviction is an important victory for the people. It would not have come about without the courageous stand of people in Jena and the growing mass political movement across the country to free the Jena 6. THIS SHOWS THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE. BUT THE STRUGGLE TO FREE THE JENA 6 IS FAR FROM OVER.

An article in The Jena Times quoted District Attorney Reed Walters saying, “I will ask the Louisiana Supreme Court to review the decision of the court of appeals.” And reported: “Bell will remain in jail until the issue is clarified by the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court agrees with the appeals court, Walters can choose to try Bell in adult court for attempted second-degree murder as originally charged or try him for a multitude of charges in juvenile court including the second-degree battery charge.”

Bell's legal team plans to go before the 28th District Court on Monday, September 17. Bell’s attorney Louis Scott stated, "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."

People have been making plans to come to Jena on September 20 for a mass rally to support the Jena Six. And now it is even more important that thousands, from all over the country, GET ON THE BUS AND GET DOWN TO JENA ON SEPTEMBER 20 TO DELIVER A POWERFUL AND EVEN MORE DETERMINED MESSAGE THAT: WE WILL NOT BE SATISFIED AND WILL NOT STOP FIGHTING UNTIL the charges against ALL OF THE JENA SIX are dropped and THEY ARE ALL FREE!

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