Judge vacates conviction of Mychal Bell

art_bell_tues_cnn.jpgAccording to CNN.com, a Louisiana judge has overturned the conviction of Mychal Bell.  Bell was convicted of second degree battery for his participation in a fight at school.

 The 3rd District Court of Appeals in Lake Charles, Louisiana threw out the conviction, saying the charges should have been brought in juvenile court.  Bell, who is now 17, was 16 at the time of the fight in December 2006.

A report by Howard Witt of the Chicago Tribune focuses on what will become of Thursday's planned rally in Jena.  Tens of thousands of protesters are planning to travel to the town of 3,000 in support of the Jena 6. 

"The crisis is not over yet," Jesse Jackson said Friday. "This ruling still leaves in suspension what's going to happen to the other five. But the Jena 6 and their supporters are now on the offensive. So long as these kids were in the dark without representation, they were all going up the river. When the lights came on and the public pressure flooded in, it began to change everything."

In Witt's September 15 story, Alan Bean, director of Friends of Justice (a Texas-based civil rights group that was the first to notice the Jena case) said he expected the reversal of Bell's convictions will turn next Thursday's protest into a "celebration" of the power of public opinion to influence the Jena 6 case. 

"People across the country, both black and white, conservative and liberal, were just appalled by what had happened in LaSalle Parish and the embarrassment factor weighed in very heavily for the appeals court,"

The wheels of this movement must continue turn.  Those planning to head to Jena should still go in the same numbers.  This is good news, justice served always is.  More on the rally later.


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