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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Megan Williams Rally: Prosecutor, NAACP(*cough*), local ministers adivise NO- New Black Panther Party and Carmen Say "Whatever"

Well for those you wanting an update on that rally in West Virgina for Megan Williams today, CNN and the AP have the story.

Megan looks different in the pictures. it looks as if they got her some extensions. Well Rev. Al was supposed to show up. He did not .

The Rev. Al Sharpton did not appear at the rally or march, despite his staff's confirmation earlier in the week that he was scheduled to attend. Instead, he held "an emergency press conference in New York," according to a spokeswoman, regarding New York Knicks coach Isaiah Thomas. SOURCE

There is so much I could do with this little tidbit right there about my favorite pompadoured precha', but I'mma let that ride.

It looks like the prosecutor isn't the only one concerned about the rally:
Shabazz staged the rally despite a request by the city's black ministerial association and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not to gather because it could harm the prosecution's case. SOURCE
I don't know what else to say about this. Does the prosecutor's reason for not filing charges under the hate crimes statute sound odd. Well, yeah. Even if there was a "personal" relationship between Megan and one of the defendants, that does not exclude that she was tortured in the manner that she was tortured because she was black. I am not getting that logic. Does that mean that if you have a relationship with a Black woman, you can't commit a hate crime against her?

However, I am going to give the prosecutor the benefit of the doubt that he knows something about his jury pool that we don't. What will the hate crimes designation do as a practical matter? Well nothing from the standpoint of the WV criminal justice system. The hate crime gets you ten years, the kidnapping and other charges carry life sentences. Plus there are always the federales.

I can understand people's need for the hate crimes designation as a kind of validation that this was in fact a hate crime.

"Justice is all we are asking for, no special treatment," Booker said. "They need to be charged with everything they have done, the hate crime and the rape and the battery. All of it."

Before the march, a rally was held on the steps of the state Capitol building. "Hate crimes are out of control in America," Malik Shabazz, a legal adviser to Williams and her family and a founder of Black Lawyers for Justice, told the crowd. "Nooses are being hung and our women are being raped by white mobs. What happened to Megan Williams was a hate crime and we want this prosecuted as a hate crime." SOURCE

Does it make it any less of a hate crime if it doesn't get the designation?

Statistically speaking Mr. Shabazz, the mobs attacking Black women are typically Black ones. Symphony from Essential Presence put up some ridiculous statistic about sexual assaults on Black women and white perpetrators barely registered statistically.( I can't find that post right now, Symphony, can you put it in the comments or just add it directly to this post). For an unscientific sampling, See Dunbar Village ( 35 year old single mother gang raped), Milwaukee ( 11 year old gang raped), Brooklyn ( mother and daughter gang raped) and this case out of Philly ("theft of services" case)

In addition, I don't have a problem with "marching" per se, however, multiple public statements from a witness that is going to be the target of a vigorous cross examination, fraught with peril. You are potentially giving the defense team a dry run at the witness. You know how she responds to questions, you get to test her ability to recall, her temperament, how she will come across to a jury pool how to get her to put her guard down, how to make her put her guard up, but most of all, you get to lock her into statements that you can challenge her with later, under oath. Not to mention that after you have told the story 100 times to 100 people, it loses some of it's "impact". It could come off sounding like a recitation because you have had to tel the story over and over again that it becomes automatic. The parents and relatives could tell her story and avoid all of these potential pitfalls.

It does not appear that Megan's handlers are taking any advice from anyone other than NBPP so at this point, what is the point. If the prosecutor can't convince them that they are jeopardizing his case, no one else can at this point. I just hope is he more persuasive with the jury. Plus, what NO ONE wants to say or admit to is that having the victim attach herself to various "characters" might make her less sympathetic to the jury (sad but true). Let's just hope they can get six convictions and that this case does not unravel in front of our eyes.

UPDATE: Have y'all read this article about the Megan Williams case?
"I guess it's been going on for months. They would get drunk and do stuff to her and the next day everything would be OK," Christie Messer said.SOURCE

Where in the world was her family in all of this?

Also, apparently a community meeting leading up to the march got quite heated when the ministerial alliance explained why they would not be participating. Y'all need to go read that Essence article about Megan Williams and Dunbar Village.

For all the latest on the Megan Williams case you can go to Nessa Publishing It is a very comprehensive site on the Megan Williams case. Photos, videos, articles. you name it. Great information source.

Reminder for those who want to make donations. You can make them to any chase bank, or mail them here:
Welana Megan Williams Trust Fund Donation Account, 707 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301.