Thursday, September 20, 2007
Is Jessie Jackson Slinging Racial Guilt At Obama Concerning Jena's Hangman Noose While Spector Worries About A Hung Jury? Update 4-14-09
While the Phil Spector murder trial may be headed to a "hung jury," Rev. Jesse Jackson has made news by accusing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of "acting like he's white" for not speaking out more forcefully about a racially charged schoolyard beating in Louisiana," according to Steve Brock managing editor. Obama's mother was white and his father was from Kenya.
What is this all about? Jena is a mostly Caucasian town where racial relations became strained about a year ago when a black student sat under a tree that was a traditional a gathering place for whites. Three nooses ( a symbol of the lynchings carried out in the Old South) were hung from the tree the next day. Racial fights followed at the school. In the December a larger altercation occurred between black and white students. Last Friday, a state appellate court over turned the only conviction against one of the black teenagers accused of attacking a white school mate. Obama hopes the decision would encourage the prosecutor to "reconsider the excessive charges brought against all the teenagers in this case..."
On Wednesday, Jackson said he was "taken out of context."
Jena 6 Update 9-29-07 A stranger, Dr. Stephen Ayers, who lives about 135 miles away, posted bond for Mychal Bell allowing him to go home for the first time in 10 months. Bell will be retried as a juvenile.
Update 12-4-07 Mychal Bell, the 17-year-old black teenager whose arrest and detention led to the "Jena 6" protests, enter a plea which will likely get him released by June of 2008.
Meanwhile, Phil Spector "hangs in the balance" on his murder trial. The judge, Larry Paul Fidler, tried to help the 7-5 split deadlocked jurors reach a verdict by removing an instruction.
The instruction states that they must find that Spector held a gun to actress Lana Clarkson's mouth, and that the weapon discharged, causing her death in order to convict Spector of second-degree murder.
Update 9-27-07 On Wednesday, the judge presiding over the "Wall of Sound" producer's murder trial declared a mistrial after jurors deadlocked, 10-2, in favor of convicting Spector on charges that he killed actress Lana Clarkson. Expect a new trial in 2008.
Update 4-14-09: After 30 hours of deliberation after a retrial, a jury on Monday convicted music producer Phil Spector of second-degree murder in the death of actress Lana Clarkson. Clarkson was shot more than six years ago. Unless the conviction is overturned, Spector will face a minimum of 16 years in prison. As a practical matter, Spector will likely serve the rest of his life behind bars.