Jena 6 hearing for Judge J.P. Mauffray postponed until July

Today a visiting judge was supposed to decide whether or not Jena 6 Judge J.P. Mauffray had been biased in his treatment of the fiver remaining defendants.  That judge has postponed the hearing until at least July.

Howard Witt of the Chicago Tribune reports:

  • ¬†Attorneys for the five remaining defendants facing trial in the racially divisive Jena 6 incident in Louisiana presented evidence Friday of what they said was bias on the part of the judge presiding over the cases and sought his removal.

    After more than four hours of testimony, a visiting judge appointed by the state Supreme Court to hear the recusal motion against LaSalle Parish District Judge J.P. Mauffray asked for more evidence and postponed a ruling until at least July.

  • Defense attorneys have long asserted that the white-dominated justice system in the small central Louisiana town was biased against their African-American clients: six high school students who were initially charged with attempted murder in the December 2006 beating of a white classmate.
  • According to those present during Friday’s hearing, defense attorneys testified that Mauffray had made prejudicial comments to them about their clients on multiple occasions. David Utter, an attorney for defendant Jesse Ray Beard, said Mauffray had labeled the Jena 6 defendants “a violent bunch” and had asserted that “crime has gone down” in the months after the youths were jailed on the beating charges.

Read the rest of Mr. Witt’ report here.

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