Just wanted to point out this from Glenn Reynolds, who wanted to get to the bottom of the controversy in Jena, and asked Radley Balko what he thought. Balko nails it, in my view:
The final fight took place in the school cafeteria. The victim was among some white kids who were taunting a group of black student-athletes, including one who had been beaten up several nights before. The black kids got angry, and jumped one of the white kids. Six black boys then beat the white boy. It was a fairly serious beating. The initial fall knocked him unconscious. But after treatment at a local hospital, he left on his own, and attended an event that night.
The prosecutor initially charged the six black kids with attempted murder. After some public backlash, he dropped them to felony assault with a deadly weapon (the weapons, as it turned out, were the students' shoes). As I understand it, none of the six had prior records. The first to be tried--Mychal Bell-- had his charges dropped to felony aggravated battery, but still received a 15-year sentence. An appellate judge just tossed that sentence out, ruling he shouldn't have been tried as an adult. The rest have yet to be tried.
Read the whole thing.