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.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Judge Removed From Jena 6 Cases

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- A Louisiana appeals court has removed a Lasalle Parish judge from the remaining "Jena Six" cases, court officials told CNN Friday.

Attorneys for four of the defendants had asked 9th Judicial District Judge Thomas Yeager to recuse Judge J.P. Mauffrey Jr.

They said Mauffrey "had made numerous statements on numerous occasions" indicating he had already decided on a defendant's guilt and punishment.

"Indeed, Judge Mauffrey has expressed his belief generally that Jesse Ray [Beard] and his African-American friends are guilty, not only of the misconduct alleged in this matter, but of several other acts of misconduct as well," according to court documents filed in the case.

A court official said Friday Yeager had found that the appearance of impropriety existed and recused Mauffrey.

Beard is one of six black Jena High School students accused of beating a white student during a school fight on December 4, 2006.

The case drew national headlines when the teens initially were charged with second-degree attempted murder after they allegedly knocked out Justin Barker while stomping and kicking him.

After the charges triggered protests, they were reduced to aggravated second-degree battery. One of the teens, Mychal Bell, reached a plea agreement on a battery charge in juvenile court.

Dale Hickman, an attorney who represents another youth, Bryant Purvis, told CNN Mauffrey's removal was good news for his case. The judge tended to view the group as "six thugs" and not individuals, he said.

Hickman added he would be concerned about the outcome of a trial held before Mauffrey if his client waived his right to a jury.
CNN News