Chicago Tribune and other media win suit to open Jena 6 case to public
See News media win suit to open Jena 6 case, an article that appeared in Thursday's Chicago Tribune.
Some of the highlights from the Howard Witt article:
- A judge ruled Wednesday that the public and the news media should have full access to all legal proceedings involving Mychal Bell…whose prosecution had been shrouded in secrecy on orders of the trial judge.
- …Rapides Parish District Judge Thomas Yeager ordered that Bell's upcoming criminal trial, as well as any pretrial hearings, must be open to the press and the public. Yeager also ordered that the court record and transcripts of any closed proceedings held so far be made available to the news media, and that attorneys for Bell be released from the trial judge's gag order…
- It was the second major setback for Mauffray in the Bell case. Last June, Mauffray presided when Bell was convicted as an adult on the battery and conspiracy charges. An appellate court later vacated that conviction, ruling that Jena District Attorney Reed Walters and Mauffray had improperly tried Bell as an adult rather than a juvenile.
- "It's not discretionary, it's mandatory," Yeager said. "[Mauffray] should open the proceedings and he should open the court records. It's not a confidential case."
There is no doubt that the justice system in Jena is trying to railroad these young men.