George Tucker, the attorney representing 17-year-old Theodore Shaw in the Jena 6 case, talked about the status of the case during a telephone interview on Thursday. Tucker's office is in Hammond, Louisiana, about 3-1/2 hours from Jena. The following are excerpts from that conversation:
"Mychal Bell [the first teen to be convicted in the "Jena 6" case] will have a hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 4. His lawyers will attempt to enter motions to try and set aside the verdict. Bell, who faces 22 years in prison, is set to be sentenced September 20.
"As for the others, some of them haven't been arraigned. Theodore Shaw is also on the docket Tuesday. He's already been set for trial twice--once in May and June--and on July 31 to address his motion to transfer venue. I entered that motion in early July."
I asked Tucker what could concerned citizens do at this point.
"One thing that they can do--this effort is real top heavy effort to encourage and an empty effort to support. These people are still indigent. We need to raise money in a very bad way. "
We can write letters, sign petitions and pray. But if there's not enough money to launch an aggressive defense against these unjust charges, that effort will be wasted. I'm researching the various defense funds set up to help these teens and will report the outcome of that search in Sunday's column.