Friday, September 21, 2007

ONE WAY Judicial System

Do to the resent publicity of the situation that has occurred in Jena, LA. I felt it necessary to point out that situations like this still occur in the south even in Texas. On the radio the other day the host of a popular morning show stated that at least stuff like this doesn't happen in Texas (referring to the Jena 6 story). It is hard to believe that in 2007 there are still situations that occur where minorities are treated completely different the Caucasians. I'm not saying that people should not be punished for their crimes or that all judges still see only one color. Being of mixed race it upsets me when people make situations a black and white issue; however, it is obvious in some cases that it is a "black and white thing".

There are many cases across the south and in Texas where a person of African-American descent and a person of Caucasian descent were tried by the same judge, some for the same crime and some for different crimes, but the sentencing was completely different. In Paris, TX a 15 year old girl was sentenced to an indeterminate time not to exceed her 21st birthday in the Texas Youth Commission's juvenile detention facilities for shoving a hall monitor at her. I'm in no way saying that Ms. Shaquanda Cotton should not have been punished for her actions; however, I am saying that indeterminate time not to exceed 21 is extreme. School suspension, probation, even a week or so in bootcamp sounds like punishment for pushing someone. The same judge that sentenced Ms. Cotton also sentenced a white 14 year old girl to probation after she was found guilty of burning down her families house.

I'm not hoping for a 2007 civil rights movement, but i am hoping for a change in the system. Ms. Cotton's story is only one of many that have occured not only in Texas, but across America.

The Washington Post Shaquanda Cotton