Jena 6: Mychal Bell's Conviction Thrown Out!

An appeals court in Louisiana threw out Mychal Bell's battery conviction today. Bell, the first of the Jena 6 to face trial, was convicted of battery and was to be sentenced later this month as large protests in the small town were scheduled. Bell is still in prison, but most likely will be released soon. His attorneys are planning to file a motion to get him released. The judge threw out the conviction stating that Bell should have been tried in juvenile court.

Before today, Bell was facing over 20 years in prison for a fight culminating out of a series of racially charged altercations between white and black students t a local high school that began with the hanging of nooses in a school yard tree. Hopefully, the local prosecutor will wise up and drop the charges against the remaining members of the Jena 6. I don't see how he could do anything else.

While this case did receive a decent amount of national attention, especially recently in the run up to Bell's sentencing, the outcome can definitely be credited in large part to grass roots efforts to bring attention to Jena and to support the Jena 6 and their legal team.