Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Jailing of Black America

September 30, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor
Jena, O. J. and the Jailing of Black America

Cambridge, Mass.

THE miscarriage of justice at Jena, La. — where five black high school students arrested for beating a white student were charged with attempted murder — and the resulting protest march tempts us to the view, expressed by several of the marchers, that not much has changed in traditional American racial relations. However, a remarkable series of high-profile incidents occurring elsewhere in the nation at about the same time, as well as the underlying reason for the demonstrations themselves, make it clear that the Jena case is hardly a throwback to the 1960s, but instead speaks to issues that are very much of our times.

What exactly attracted thousands of demonstrators to the small Louisiana town? While for some it was a simple case of righting a grievous local injustice, and for others an opportunity to relive the civil rights era, for most the real motive was a long overdue cry of outrage at the use of the prison system as a means of controlling young black men.

America has more than two million citizens behind bars, the highest absolute and per capita rate of incarceration in the world. Black Americans, a mere 13 percent of the population, constitute half of this country’s prisoners. A tenth of all black men between ages 20 and 35 are in jail or prison; blacks are incarcerated at over eight times the white rate.

The effect on black communities is catastrophic: one in three male African-Americans in their 30s now has a prison record, as do nearly two-thirds of all black male high school dropouts. These numbers and rates are incomparably greater than anything achieved at the height of the Jim Crow era. What’s odd is how long it has taken the African-American community to address in a forceful and thoughtful way this racially biased and utterly counterproductive situation.

How, after decades of undeniable racial progress, did we end up with this virtual gulag of racial incarceration?

Part of the answer is a law enforcement system that unfairly focuses on drug offenses and other crimes more likely to be committed by blacks, combined with draconian mandatory sentencing and an absurdly counterproductive retreat from rehabilitation as an integral method of dealing with offenders. An unrealistic fear of crime that is fed in part by politicians and the press, a tendency to emphasize punitive measures and old-fashioned racism are all at play here.

But there is another equally important cause: the simple fact that young black men commit a disproportionate number of crimes, especially violent crimes, which cannot be attributed to judicial bias, racism or economic hardships. The rate at which blacks commit homicides is seven times that of whites.

Why is this? Several incidents serendipitously occurring at around the same time as the march on Jena hint loudly at a possible answer.

In New York City, the tabloids published sensational details of the bias suit brought by a black former executive for the Knicks, Anucha Browne Sanders, who claims that she was frequently called a “bitch” and a “ho” by the Knicks coach and president, Isiah Thomas. In a video deposition, Thomas said that while it is always wrong for a white man to verbally abuse a black woman in such terms, it was “not as much ... I’m sorry to say” for a black man to do so.

Across the nation, religious African-Americans were shocked that the evangelical minister Juanita Bynum, an enormously popular source of inspiration for churchgoing black women, said she was brutally beaten in a parking lot by her estranged husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks.

O. J. Simpson, the malevolent central player in an iconic moment in the nation’s recent black-white (as well as male-female) relations, reappeared on the scene, charged with attempted burglary, kidnapping and felonious assault in Las Vegas, in what he claimed was merely an attempt to recover stolen memorabilia.

These events all point to something that has been swept under the rug for too long in black America: the crisis in relations between men and women of all classes and, as a result, the catastrophic state of black family life, especially among the poor. Isiah Thomas’s outrageous double standard shocked many blacks in New York only because he had the nerve to say out loud what is a fact of life for too many black women who must daily confront indignity and abuse in hip-hop misogyny and everyday conversation.

What is done with words is merely the verbal end of a continuum of abuse that too often ends with beatings and spousal homicide. Black relationships and families fail at high rates because women increasingly refuse to put up with this abuse. The resulting absence of fathers — some 70 percent of black babies are born to single mothers — is undoubtedly a major cause of youth delinquency.

The circumstances that far too many African-Americans face — the lack of paternal support and discipline; the requirement that single mothers work regardless of the effect on their children’s care; the hypocritical refusal of conservative politicians to put their money where their mouths are on family values; the recourse by male youths to gangs as parental substitutes; the ghetto-fabulous culture of the streets; the lack of skills among black men for the jobs and pay they want; the hypersegregation of blacks into impoverished inner-city neighborhoods — all interact perversely with the prison system that simply makes hardened criminals of nonviolent drug offenders and spits out angry men who are unemployable, unreformable and unmarriageable, closing the vicious circle.

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and other leaders of the Jena demonstration who view events there, and the racial horror of our prisons, as solely the result of white racism are living not just in the past but in a state of denial. Even after removing racial bias in our judicial and prison system — as we should and must do — disproportionate numbers of young black men will continue to be incarcerated.

Until we view this social calamity in its entirety — by also acknowledging the central role of unstable relations among the sexes and within poor families, by placing a far higher priority on moral and social reform within troubled black communities, and by greatly expanding social services for infants and children — it will persist.

Orlando Patterson is a professor of sociology at Harvard and the author of “The Ordeal of Integration: Progress and Resentment in America’s ‘Racial’ Crisis.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

U.S. denies Salvadoran a Visa: Political

from 'Upside Down World'

US Embassy Declares Salvadoran Anti-Privatization Work “Dangerous” to US Public
Written by CISPES
Friday, 21 September 2007

**Take Action to demand that the U.S. government stop denying visas to opposition voices!**

On Thursday 20, the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador denied Salvadoran union leader Maria de los Angeles Pleitez Carcamo a visa to come on a speaking tour of the U.S. Pleitez is scheduled to participate in CISPES’s “We Are Not Terrorists, Organizing is Our Right!” tour from Oct 16-31. During the tour Pleitez will talk about her union’s work to stop the privatization of the public health care system and the increasing repression that social movement and union leaders are suffering from the Salvadoran government.

On the morning of September 20, Pleitez went to the U.S. Consulate in San Salvador and presented all of her documents, including proof of work, family ties, and over a dozen letters of invitation from Congressional Representatives and other community groups. In the visa interview, the U.S. consular representative questioned Pleitez about her ties to CISPES and her union work. The official rejection letter cited lack of “economic and social ties” to El Salvador, but the interviewing officer made it clear that the rejection was a political decision when he concluded the interview, saying “this is very delicate situation…you cannot travel because we need to protect U.S. security.”

Pleitez believes she was denied the visa because the U.S. government does not want people in the United States to know about repression against the social movement and union leaders in El Salvador. Pleitez is a national leader in the Salvadoran General Hospitals Union (SIGEESAL), and SIGEESAL has recently been targeted for its work to stop privatization. On September 4, eight SIGEESAL members were illegally arrested for participating in a demonstration against the privatization of the national health care system. A number of other organizations have also been attacked for their activism recently. In July, 14 people were arrested in Suchitoto for participating in a peaceful protest against the privatization of water. Those protesters are being charged with “terrorist acts” and face up to 60 years of prison. The SIGEESAL activists are being charged with public disorder and could also face years in prison.

The U.S. Embassy in El Salvador is contributing to the repression of the social movement and union organizing by denying this visa and not allowing Ms. Pleitez to tell their stories in the United States As long as the U.S. government is supporting this repression in El Salvador it is critical that communities in the U.S. be allowed to meet with people like Pleitez to share experiences and build common strategies. The only “danger” we face is allowing the government to keep us uninformed! Take action to demand that the U.S. Consulate grant Ms. Pleitez a visa immediately.

1. Write to the Consul General of the US Embassy in El Salvador to demand that Pleitez immediately be granted a visa. Write to Carl Cockburn, Consul General -Fax: 011(503)2278-5522, or e-mail to (see below for sample fax)
2. Report back on your discussion or send a copy of your message and any reply to the CISPES National Office:

1525 Newton St NW, Washington DC, 20010 • 202-521-2510 • FAX: 202-332-3339 • •

* Organizations and Unions, please send letter on institutional letterhead.

Sample Fax/Email:

To: Carl S. Cockburn, Consul General
US Embassy, El Salvador

September 20, 2007

Dear Mr. Carl S. Cockburn,

I am writing to express my concern about your office’s decision to deny Ms. Maria de los Angeles Pleitez Carcamo her visa on September 20. Ms. Pleitez has been invited to tour the United States this fall, and she has gone through all the appropriate steps to secure a visa to enter the U.S. She appeared at the Embassy with the necessary documentation, including written invitations from U.S. Congressional Representatives, unions, and other organizations, as well as proof of her multiple years of employment in El Salvador.

All of this evidence is more than enough to prove Ms. Pleitez’s ties to El Salvador, and therefore I question the official letter of denial stating that she has not proven ties to El Salvador (under section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.) CISPES, the organization inviting Ms. Pleitez for the tour, has been organizing events like these for over 27 years and has never had anyone overstay their visa.

In fact, the statements of the Consul General – that Ms. Pleitez can not travel to the U.S. “for the security of the country” – make the political dimensions of the decision obvious. In her role as a union leader Ms. Pleitez and her fellow union members have been targets of recent police repression and arrests due to their resistance to government privatization plans, and the U.S. government has apparently decided to further silence those who express opposition to government policy.

It is shameful that the U.S. government, through the Consul General’s office, is denying people in the U.S. the right to learn directly from Salvadorans about the issues facing worker people in Latin America. I insist that Ms. Pleitez be issued a visa immediately so that she can arrive in the U.S. in time for the October tour.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


"If the world is upside down the way it is now, wouldn't we have to turn it over to get it to stand up straight?" -Eduardo Galeano

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hypocricy has few limits: Iran

Iranian academic society condemns Lee Bollinger remarks
Service: Foreign Policy
News Code :8607-02107

ISNA - Tehran
Service: Foreign Policy

TEHARN, Sep. 25 (ISNA)-In response to the insulting remarks of the Columbia university president against Mahmoud Ahamadinejad, Iran's university presidents raised their objection to Lee Bollinger.

Ahmadinejad was elected in a free two-level election and by the nation's direct votes they announced in a letter to Lee Bollinger.

"Your insulting words to the president of 72 million people who have 7000 years of rich civilization and culture is embarrassing. Although apparently you have stated those hateful words under great pressure of the media it is disgraceful and surprising to see that the Media direct university president's words."

In this letter they have put 10 questions to Lee Bollinger with the purpose of clearing up the ambiguities between the two countries.

1-Why did American media put you under pressure to call off Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia University? Why do they broadcast hours of programs and news against him and do not allow him to answer the accusations? Isn't it against freedom of speech?

2-Why did the U.S. government oust the nation-based government of Mosaddegh with the aid of Iran's dictator, Shah in 1953?

3-Why did the U.S. support Saddam who used chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and even his own nation during the imposed war?

4-Why doesn't the U.S. recognize Palestine's government which was elected with Palestinian's vote? Why does it pressurize the Palestinian's government? Why is the U.S. against Iran's proposal on solving the 60-year old problems of Palestine through referendum?

5-Why couldn't the U.S. army find Bin Laden despite all of its equipments? How do you justify the old friendship between the Bin Ladens and the Bushs and their cooperation on oil? How do you justify Bush's spoiling the investigations over the 9/11?

6-Why does the U.S. government back the terrorist group of Mujahedine Khalq Organization (MKO) while it has claimed responsibility over many bloody bombings in public places of Iran and Iraq? Why doesn't it allow the Iraqi government to evacuate the MKO base in Iraq?

7-Did the U.S. invade Iraq based on international vote and with the permission of international organizations? What was the real purpose of occupying Iraq which has left hundred thousands of its people dead? Where are the weapons of mass destruction which the U.S. claimed were stored in Iraq?

8-Why are the extremely undemocratic states with absolute monarchy regimes the U.S. best friends in the Middle East?

9-Why did the U.S. disagree with the "Middle East free of nuclear weapons project" issued in the board of governors while all countries agreed with it but Israel?

10-Why is the U.S. displeased with Iran and the IAEA agreement and why does it disagree with negotiations within the framework of international regulations for solving Iran's nuclear issue?

At the end they have announced that they were ready to host Columbia University president and other faculties who were interested in seeking the truth to know about this nation without the filtering of the West media.

End Item

Friday, September 21, 2007

We must persevere

We Must Persevere
Recently, the Supreme Court rendered a decision that makes school integration far more difficult. Civil rights leader Julian Bond responds.

By Julian Bond

At age 15, my grandfather, born into slavery and barely able to read and write, hitched his tuition -- a steer -- to a rope and walked 100 miles across Kentucky to knock on the door of Berea College. The school admitted him and, 14 years later, asked him to deliver the commencement address when he finally graduated.

"In every cloud," my grandfather said, the pessimist "beholds a destructive storm, in every flash of lightning an omen of evil, and in every shadow that falls across his path a lurking foe. He forgets that the clouds also bring life and hope, that lightning purifies the atmosphere, that shadow and darkness prepare for sunshine and growth, and that hardships and adversity nerve the race, as the individual, for greater efforts and grander victories."

This summer, I thought of my grandfather and his steadfast optimism as I read the deeply divided Supreme Court's 169-page decision on school integration, a ruling that severely undercuts our nation's ability to provide equal educational opportunities for its children. Four conservative members of the Court went so far as to suggest that our schools may not take race into account to combat "de facto" segregation and the injuries it inflicts.

How very far we have fallen since that Spring day in 1954 when a unanimous Supreme Court mustered the moral courage in Brown v. Board of Education to demand, in 11 simple and eloquent pages, that our nation afford equal -- and integrated -- educational opportunities, so that our shameful tradition of white supremacy might be undone. How very hard it is to maintain optimism -- to see the sunshine my grandfather always saw behind dark clouds -- when contemplating what the Court has done in 2007.

Our schools have long been held up as our most important democratic institution, pathways to class mobility and generational progress. A public educational system that is fully integrated and treats minorities and whites equally is the antithesis of the larger society, which has been and remains profoundly segregated and unequal.

I once heard Minnijean Brown reflect on her experiences as one of the heroic Little Rock Nine who integrated Central High School in 1957. Someone asked why she kept coming back to school day after day, despite daily harassment and intimidation that would have driven most people away.

From the ferocity of her enemies, she said, "I knew there was something precious inside that school," and she was more determined to get it than they were to keep it from her grasp. Minnijean and the Supreme Court Justices who delivered and supported Brown understood schools as pathways to righting the wrongs of societal racism.

But today's Supreme Court has embraced another vision for American education: schooling as an instrument for reproducing the class and race privilege of the larger society. At the dawn of the 21st century, one in six African American children still attended what researchers call "apartheid schools" -- schools that are virtually 100% children of color -- and no school district in America has managed to create equal educational opportunities within these schools on a large scale or in a sustained manner, particularly at the secondary level.

Today's Court has turned its back on the millions of black and Latino children currently trapped in highly segregated, underperforming schools, leaving them to hang on the ropes of racial and economic disenfranchisement. The Court has paved the way for many more children of color to join them by outlawing the modest means numerous districts have adopted to promote racial diversity and overcome racial isolation. It has denied the very notion that our nation's schools should serve as equalizers.

Three years ago, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Brown decision, the country asked itself whether our nation had fulfilled Brown's promise. Many emphasized that Brown had brought about a sea change in American life — tearing down the walls of segregation and serving as an impetus for equal rights for groups other than African Americans. Others pointed to the facts that our schools were resegregating and that society was still marked by stark inequalities. The Supreme Court’s recent decision is likely to be remembered as Brown’s final epitaph.

I think again of my grandfather, a man who walked 100 miles to a college that had not admitted him and who, once accepted, labored 14 years for his diploma. His actions are what speak most profoundly to me in this moment: We must persevere. We must strengthen our resolve against the destructive storm that has descended upon us.

If schools can no longer be used to address our country’s racist traditions, then we as a country must attack racism by other means. If our schools are no longer allowed to offset the consequences of persistent residential segregation, for example, then we as a country must attack the problem directly. If our schools are not allowed to serve as equalizers towards remedying the vast inequalities that continue to fester in our country, then we as a country must confront those inequalities head-on. If we cannot rely on the courts, then we must lobby the legislatures.

Only with a renewed commitment will we be prepared to undertake, as my grandfather would have said, the "greater efforts" towards the "grander victories" this new era requires. Only with renewed commitment can our country become the nation it should be. Only with renewed commitment will we fulfill the promise of Brown.

Julian Bond has served as chair of the NAACP Board of Directors since 1998 and is president emeritus and a board member of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which publishes Teaching Tolerance magazine. He is a distinguished professor in the School of Government at American University in Washington, DC, and a professor of history at the University of Virginia.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


GOOD INFORMATION on the case of the Jena 6 at our sister blog:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

UN votes for Indigenous Rights

Jubilation as UN Adopts Historic Statement on Native Rights

Haider Rizvi OneWorld US
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 13 (OneWorld) - Despite strong objections from the United States and some of its allies, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution Thursday calling for the recognition of the world's 370 million indigenous peoples' right to self-determination and control over their lands and resources.

Rosalinda Sántiz Díaz works with an indigenous women's organization in Chiapas, Mexico. © MADRE
The adoption of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples comes after 22 years of diplomatic negotiations at the United Nations involving its member states, international civil society groups, and representatives of the world's aboriginal communities.

An overwhelming majority of UN member countries endorsed the Declaration, with 143 voting in favor, 4 against, and 11 abstaining.

The United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand stood alone in voting against the resolution. The nations that neither supported nor objected were Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burundi, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia, Samoa, and Ukraine.

"It's a triumph for indigenous peoples around the world," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after the General Assembly vote. "This marks a historic moment when member states and indigenous peoples have reconciled with their painful histories."

In her comments, General Assembly President Haya Al Khalifa described the outcome of the vote as a "major step forward towards the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all."

Pleased with the General Assembly's decision, indigenous leaders told OneWorld they wanted the declaration to be adopted by consensus, but since certain countries remained unwilling to recognize their rights until the end, a majority vote was the only possible option left.

"If a few states do not accept the declaration, then it would be a reflection on them rather than the document," said Les Malezer, an aboriginal leader from Australia, before the resolution was presented to the General Assembly.

Before the vote many indigenous leaders accused the United States and Canada of pressuring economically weak and vulnerable nations to reject calls for the Declaration's adoption. Initially, some African countries were also reluctant to vote in favor, but later changed their position after the indigenous leadership accepted their demand to introduce certain amendments in the text.

The Declaration emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their institutions, cultures, and traditions and pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations.

It also calls for recognition of the indigenous peoples' right to self-determination, a principle fully recognized by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, but deemed controversial by the United States and some of its allies who fear that it could undermine their rights to rule over all their current territory.

In return for their support, the African countries wanted the declaration to mention that it does not encourage any actions that would undermine the "territorial integrity" or "political unity" of sovereign states.

Though the African viewpoint was incorporated into the final version, the Declaration remains assertive of indigenous peoples' right to self-determination and control over their land and resources.

"It is subject to interpretation, but we can work with this," Malezer said last week.

Thursday, Malezer and his colleagues in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues described the world body's decision as "a major victory."

International Day of the World's Indigenous People © Pan American Health Organization
"The 13th of September 2007 will be remembered as an international human rights day for the indigenous peoples of the world," said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, chairperson of the Permanent Forum, in an emotional tone filled with joy.

International civil society groups working for the rights of indigenous peoples also expressed extreme pleasure with Thursday's vote.

"We are really very happy and thrilled to hear about the adoption of the Declaration," said Botswana Bushman Jumanda Gakelebone of First People of the Kalahari, who works with the independent advocacy group Survival International.

"It recognizes that governments can no longer treat us as second-class citizens, and it gives protection to tribal peoples so that they will not be thrown off their lands like we were," Gakelebone added in a statement.

Survival's director Stephen Corry said he hoped the declaration would raise international standards in the same way the Universal Declaration of Human Rights did nearly 60 years ago.

"It sets a benchmark by which the treatment of tribal and indigenous peoples can be judged, and we hope it will usher in an era in which abuse of their rights is no longer tolerated," he added.

Vivian Stromberg, executive director of the New York-based rights group MADRE, said Thursday that the Declaration's passage "will signal a major shift in the landscape of international human rights law, in which the collective rights of indigenous peoples will finally be recognized and defended."

At the UN, indigenous leaders, however, cautioned against a possible gap between rhetoric and effective implementation of the Declaration.

"It will be the test of commitment of states and the whole international community to protect, respect, and fulfill indigenous peoples' collective and individual human rights," Tauli-Corpuz said.

"I call on governments, the UN system, indigenous peoples, and civil society at large to rise to the historic task before us and make the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples a living document for the common future of humanity," she said in a statement.

Though pleased with the General Assembly's decision, some indigenous leaders seemed unhappy that the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand did not accept the Declaration.

"Canada has shown its true colors on our human rights," Arthur Manuel, a leader of Canada's indigenous peoples, told OneWorld.

Those in opposition have said the Declaration is "flawed," mainly because of its strong emphasis on the right to indigenous self-determination and full control over lands and resources. In their view, these clauses would hinder economic development efforts and undermine so-called "established democratic norms."

The United States has also refused to sign on to a UN treaty on biological diversity, which calls for a "fair and equitable" sharing of the benefits derived from indigenous lands by commercial enterprises.

Meanwhile, threats to indigenous lands and resources persist, say rights activists, in the form of mining, logging, toxic contamination, privatization, large-scale development projects, and the use of genetically modified seeds.

"The entire wealth of the United States, Canada, and other so-called modern states is built on the poverty and human rights violations of their indigenous peoples," said Manuel. "The international community needs to understand how hypocritical Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States are."

Recent scientific studies have repeatedly warned of devastating consequences for indigenous communities in particular as changing climates are expected to cause more floods, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events across the world.

The United States and Australia have taken particular criticism also for their refusal to join the majority of the world's nations in efforts to combat climate change.


Jena Louisiana conviction tossed

Teen's conviction tossed in La. beating

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press Writer
Fri Sep 14, 6:52 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS - A state appeals court on Friday threw out
the only remaining conviction against one of the black
teenagers accused in the beating of a white schoolmate
in the racially tense north Louisiana town of Jena.

Mychal Bell, 17, should not have been tried as an adult,
the state 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal said in tossing
his conviction on aggravated battery, for which he was
to have been sentenced Thursday. He could have gotten 15
years in prison.

His conspiracy conviction in the December beating of
student Justin Barker was already thrown out by another

Bell, who was 16 at the time of the beating, and four
others were originally charged with attempted second-
degree murder. Those charges brought widespread
criticism that blacks were being treated more harshly
than whites after racial confrontations and fights at
Jena High School.

Bell's attorney Louis Scott said he didn't know whether
his client, whose bond was set at $90,000, would get out
of jail immediately.

"We don't know what approach the prosecution is going to
take -- whether they will re-charge him, where he would
have to be subjected to bail all over again or not,"
Scott said.

Civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson
and Al Sharpton, had been planning a rally in support of
the teens for the day Bell was to have been sentenced.

"Although there will not be a court hearing, we still
intend to have a major rally for the Jena Six and now
hopefully Mychal Bell will join us," Sharpton said in an
e-mailed statement.

Said Jackson: "The pressure must continue until all six
boys are set free and sent to school, not to jail."

Jena is a mostly white town where racial animosity
flared about a year ago when a black student sat under a
tree that was a traditional gathering place for whites.
A day later, three nooses were found hanging from the
tree. There followed reports of racial fights at the
school, culminating in the December attack on Barker.

The reversal of Bell's conviction will not affect four
other teenagers also charged as adults, because they
were 17 years old at the time of the fight and no longer
considered juveniles, said attorney George Tucker of

Prosecutors have the option of appealing to the state
Supreme Court. District Attorney Reed Walters did not
return a call Friday.

Judge J.P. Mauffray had thrown out Bell's conspiracy
conviction, saying it was not a charge on which a
juvenile may be tried as an adult. But he had let the
battery conviction stand, saying Bell could be tried in
adult court because the charge was among lesser charges
included in the original attempted murder charge.

Teenagers can be tried as adults in Louisiana for some
violent crimes, including attempted murder, but
aggravated battery is not one of those crimes, the court

Defense lawyers had argued that the aggravated battery
case should not have been tried in adult court once the
attempted murder charge was reduced.

The case "remains exclusively in juvenile court," the
Third Circuit ruled.