Media Orgs File for Access to Jena Case

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.

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One response to “Media Orgs File for Access to Jena Case

  1. It seems that a decision to make Mychal Bell’s juvenile crime records public would please both sides in the Jena Six debate. According to the Associated Press, one of Mychal Bell’s defense attorneys, support releasing the records. Those who think Bell belongs in jail have long complained about shield laws that prevent the press from reporting on Bell’s multiple counts of battery and destruction of property. Given access to Bell’s records, the bloggers will have a field day. They will probably push to have Bell school diciplinary records also made public.

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