Quick Hit: Jena 6’s Mychal Bell out on bail

District Attorney Reed Walters (owner of a very selective memory) has decided not to try and charge Bell as an adult again after his conviction was overturned.
Bell still faces second degree battery and conspiracy charges in a juvenile court, but was released today on bail.
Via Washington Post.

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  • http://thecurvature.com Anonymous

    Well thank fucking god that he’s finally able to see the light of day again. Not even close to enough, obviously, but still excellent news.

  • Roxie

    can someone explain these conspiracy charges to me?

  • Sailorman

    FYI, “dangerous weapon” doesn’t mean what most people think it does. I took a look at Westlaw in my own state, and checked the definition.
    Sneakers count.
    They count because kicking someone while wearing shoes (even sneakers) is supposedly more dangerous than doing so barefoot.
    See, e.g., Com. v. Ulysses H., 52 Mass.App.Ct. 497 (2001)
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the legal precedent was the same in Louisiana. As such, Bell’s initial charges may have been perfectly justified under existing law. My nickel’s on the law being the same in LA.
    This doesn’t say anything about the obvious racism and inconsistent treatment in Jena. That continues to be an enormous issue.
    But it might serve as a warning not to jump on a bus before you know where it’s headed. I have seen an enormous number of posts snidely mocking the “sneaker as dangerous weapon” concept. Somehow, I suspect that few of those authors actually KNOW what Louisiana law says.
    I don’t know for sure either; I suppose it’s always possible that Louisiana law is more favorable towards the defendant than is Massachusetts law. Want to take bets?

  • realityfighter

    You’re right, Sailorman; there could be court cases in which tennis shoes were considered a dangerous weapon and that made some sort of sense. The miscarriage of justice here is that they’re pressing second degree charges for an injury so minor the victim didn’t even feel bad enough to excuse himself from a party that night. The tennis shoe thing is just a means to that end.