The LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters agreed to a plea bargain on Monday for one of the black teenagers facing trial in the Jena Six case. With this deal, the charges against Mychal Bell, 17, will be sharply reduced. Walters dropped the conspiracy charge, and Bell pled guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery for a sentence of 18 months in jail with credit for the ten months he has already served, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Bell is the first of the Jena Six students to face trial for their alleged roles in the assault of white student Justin Barker at Jena High School on Dec. 4, 2006. The attack capped months of racial tension in the town, which began after three white students hung nooses from a tree on the high school campus. School administrators treated the hanging of the nooses as a prank, and did not expel the student responsible. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Civil rights leaders asserted that the school and legal system treated the black students more harshly than the white ones. The charges against Bell and the five other black students, who became known as the "Jena Six," drew more than 20,000 protesters to the Louisiana town in September.
Media Resources: Associated Press 12-4-07; Chicago Tribune 12-3-07; Feminist Daily Newswire 9/20/07
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .