A consortium of news organizations have filed a petition to open up Mycal Bell’s juvenile trial, claiming First Amendment rights. The move challenges Judge J.P. Mauffray’s decision to keep the proceedings closed and to impose a gag order on all parties involved in the case. “Mauffray’s orders run counter to Louisiana juvenile laws, precedents set by the Louisiana Supreme Court and provisions of both the Louisiana and U.S. Constitutions,” the petition asserts.
The closure order, according to the document (which is cited in the Shreveport Times), “unquestionably violates Article 879(B) of the Louisiana Children’s Code, which provides: ‘All proceedings in a juvenile delinquency case involving a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) or a delinquent act which is a second or subsequent felony-grade adjudication shall be open to the public.’”
In related Jena Six news, Bryant Purvis is scheduled to be arraigned on November 7.