Earl Ofari Hutchinson has written a sharp comment on the broader context surrounding the Jena Six. In an op-ed published in the Baltimore Sun today, Hutchinson pulls back from the specifics of the case to examine the long-term failures of Louisiana’s juvenile justice system and the national discrepancies in treatment for white and African-American males who come into contact with the law.
“The outrage over the Jena case will probably force town prosecutors to edge away a little more from the harsh charges against the teens, but only a little,” he writes. “They, like prosecutors everywhere, are convinced that black teens are habitual lawbreakers and that the public clamors for prosecutors to heave the book at them. And that’s exactly what they routinely do in daily courts throughout the country.”