Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jena Six

[posted by Callimachus]

Jeralyn attempts to cut through the tangle of shaky and conflicting narratives of the Jena Six case.

While I still can't make judgments as to much of the story, I have no problem declaring the case one of prosecutorial over-charging and abuse of a system that allows prosecutors discretion in charging juveniles as adults. I think the only reason the kids were charged with such serious felonies was to get Mychal Bell, then a juvenile, into adult court.

Which agrees with the few conclusions I can draw about it, and why it reminds me in one key way of the Duke lacrosse rape case: prosecutorial zeal.

No matter the background, the young men facing punishment did not face their harassment with the aplomb and determined self-control that earned many civil rights figures of the previous generation the admiration of the world. They hit back -- six to one. That's fine, but let's not mix the two experiences as though they were equal.

You might get me out to a rally for Genarlow Wilson, on the other hand.