Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Case of The Jena - 6

In a small still mostly segregated section of rural Louisiana, an all-white jury heard a series of white witnesses called by a white prosecutor testify in a courtroom overseen by a white judge in a trial about a fight at the local high school where a white student who had been making racial taunts was hit by Black students.

The fight was the culmination of a series of racial incidents starting when whites responded to Black students sitting under the “white tree” at their school by hanging three nooses from the tree. The white jury and white prosecutor and all white supporters of the white victim were all on one side of the courtroom. The Black defendant, 17-year-old Mychal Bell, and his supporters were on the other.

The jury quickly convicted Mychal Bell of two felonies — aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery. Bell, who was a 16-year-old sophomore football star at the time he was arrested, faces up to 22 years in prison. Five other Black youths await similar trials on attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy charges.

Yes, you read that correctly. The rest of the story, which is being reported across the world in papers in China, France and England, is just as chilling.


G.Cook said...

Racism in Jena Louisiana
Listen to my interview with Alan Bean, an activist who was in the courtroom during the trial


On June 28 2007 a young black defendant Mychal Bell was found guilty of aggravated assault against a young white man by an all white jury despite conflicting testimony from witnesses. Alan Bean talks about the things below:

The weekend before the assault took place nooses were hung on a tree.

The Prosecutor threatened black students about protesting the nooses

A black man was assaulted, no charges were brought up.

During the trial the public defender put up no defense after the prosecution rested it's case.

Listen to the interview and read about the case hear:

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