Attempted Murder in Jena

CNN is covering Jena now. I’m starting to get answers to questions I asked when I saw this before:

Four days after the arson, several students jumped a white classmate, Justin Barker, knocking him unconscious before stomping and kicking him.

Fine upstanding citizens, all four. I know that when I see six guys all jumping one guy and then stomping him out, I’m looking at future pillars of the community.

Parents of the Jena 6 say they heard Barker was hurling racial epithets. Barker’s parents say he did nothing to provoke the beating.

Of course it was provoked. He was white, isn’t that enough?

Barker was taken to the hospital with injuries to both eyes and ears as well as cuts. His right eye had blood clots, said his mother, Kelli Barker. Justin Barker was treated and released that day.

Bell, Bailey, Theo Shaw, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis and an unidentified juvenile — all black teens — were arrested and charged with attempted murder. The weapons used, according to the charges — shoes. Their bails were set at between $70,000 and $138,000.

They weren’t charged with assault with a deadly weapon. They were charged with attempted murder. The weapon doesn’t matter nearly as much as “were they in danger of killing him?” Whenever someone on the ground is being stomped by four men, that person is in real danger of being beaten to death.

Only Bell remains in jail, on a $90,000 bond, and the judge has refused to lower it, citing Bell’s criminal record, which includes four juvenile offenses — two simple battery charges among them.

In other words, he has a history of criminal behavior and violent attacks at the age of 16. I’m sorry, I can’t work up any sympathy for him.

Look, all the racial crap aside, I won’t abide violent thugs. And four guys who will gang up on one other guy and continue stomping him after he is down are violent thugs. Fuck nooses. Deal with the violence. This wasn’t a “school fight.” People don’t end up hospitalized over school fights.


  1. triticale says:

    The point about the weapons used is that thugs will hurt people with what is available. There have been horrible vicious beatings here in Milwaukee in which milk crates and lawn furniture were used. Thug control is more important than weapon control.

  2. Northe says:

    “The always-smiling 16-year-old often spent weekends on the couch, munching Little Debbie snack cakes…”

    Now the dude’s gonna be targeted for being a puss too! Watch out NFL!

  3. Northe says:

    Oh never mind, they are trying to soften the image of the dude that beat the other helpless chap down? That’s great.. cuz if he eats little debbie snack cakes he can’t be bad. Another known fact is bad people never smile and this guy was ALWAYS smiling.. sounds like another case of overreacting by the police department!

  4. Phelps says:

    Hey hey, you’ve got some Brown People in your lineage, Northe. If you don’t start hating Whitey you’ll have your ass twisting in the wind, too.

    Hmm, maybe I should reword that.

  5. mexigogue says:

    Jesse Jackson isn’t gonna get involved in this one unless the press says something racially insensitive like “the four were seen shuffling away from the scene.”

  6. R says:

    So doesn’t motive to commit murder have to be established before the charge? My Law and Order is kind of rusty on this one…

  7. Phelps says:

    No, motive only plays into “did they intend to cause harm.” (Mens Rea.) If they should have known that there was a material danger of killing him, that is attempted murder.

    In any event, they weren’t convicted of it because they plead to a lesser aggravated battery charge.

  8. Mexigogue says:

    If they beat up a kid who was just sitting at a bus stop I would call for a longer sentence. But as far as as fighting words a noose ranks right up with with F your mother. A noose is commonly understood as a symbol for racial violence and if that is what it was meant to symbolize it can be argued that the victim got exactly what he wanted. I wouldn’t go so far as to argue that because I don’t advocate pre-emptive strikes. The Jena Six deserve jail time but this is not a case of good guys versus bad guys. I think both sides are bad.

  9. Phelps says:

    So because someone hung some nooses, it’s open season on all white boys? So, the next time someone starts a “Kill Whitey” rant, it is okay for me and a bunch of redneck friends to just go find some black guy and stomp the shit out of him? That’s better than if it was our own idea?

  10. Mexigogue says:

    I said I don’t advocate starting the violence and that the jena six should get jail time. I just think that if I go flying the Enola Gay toward a bunch of Japanese people I can reasonably expect that I might get karate-chopped. It’s still wrong but I would have contributed to the environment and I think that’s a valid mitigating factor.

  11. Phelps says:

    So where has anyone said that there is anything saying that the guy who got stomped out was associated with the nooses by anything other than being white?

  12. Mexigogue says:

    That was my presumption (that he was one of the noose boys) but if that was wrong then my argument goes out the window.

  13. Phelps says:

    I forgive you.

  14. Mexigogue says:

    I thought you were gonna make me spin the wheel. I wonder if they have random wheel spinning software you can put online for a Wheel of Punishment.

  15. Phelps says:

    Dude, it’s a bit. Whatever Russ said it lands on is what it landed on. If you actually thought anything on that show is random…

    Spin the wheel.

  16. Mexigogue says:

    Oh great. A DATE WITH AIDEN???????

  17. Phelps says:

    He won’t date anyone taht doesn’t put out. Remember, puuuuuush.

  18. Smarter says:

    To the ignorant: Understand the facts of this issue before you give us your infinite wisdom. It is so convenient for SOME people to ignore the blatant racism of the Jena Six issue. Yep, I am against racist people to stupid to know they are racist.

  19. Phelps says:

    Okay, “Smarter”, if that is your real name, how is it that someone is simultaniously ignorant and ignoring? Wouldn’t they have to be made aware of a fact in order to ignore it? And I am against stupid people too stupid to know that is it is the comparative “too stupid” and not “to stupid”.

    Guess what? We RTFA. We know the facts. We know that there are racist assholes out there. We, on the other hand, aren’t so racist as to believe that only white people are capable of racism. Just as white people are capable of ganging up on a black person because he is black, black people are capable of ganging up on a white person because he is white.

  20. Btexp says:

    Talk about throwing gasoline on a raging fire!

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    Before this beating, you already had an escalating situation on the verge of exploiding. The prosecutors have a whole variety of ways to handle a situation ranging up to the attempted murder charge.

    Anyone with understanding of this situation would have realized that trying these teens as adults would fuel the anger further.

    This was an opportunity for creative conflict resolution. To try to get a dialogue started. Try the teens as juveniles for battery. Warn everyone that the future events regardless of the perpetrator would be treated very seriously, and demand parents and community leaders on both sides start a dialogue.

    Instead of creativity, they used a hammer.

  21. Phelps says:

    Sounds like the justification used to avoid prosecuting crimes against blacks under Jim Crow. “If we try these white people for lynching that guy, then that will just rile the whites up even more! Let’s just let bygones be bygones.”