But for those who've been around the just-us system for a while, one of the slickest tricks commonly used (besides the plea bargain, which has turned into an art form) is the practice -- particularly against juveniles -- of "saving" charges for later. In other words, it's as if the prosecutors say, "We don't really care about this situation right now because, you know, this is just the way they are, so we'll just put this one up here on the shelf in case we need it for leverage later." Leverage. Such as in the case of the Jena Six, which may after all have really only been the Jena Five in the first place since there's reason to believe that one of the young men charged didn't even arrive on the scene until the deed was already done.
So the prosecution:
- slam dunks Mychal Bell,
- turns him from a victim into a weapon against not only himself, but against his team mates,
- destroys six young lives while protecting the White racist instigator who most certainly was supportive of the noose-hangers, if not a noose-hanger himself,
- circumvents and then neutralizes community support for the Jena Six,
- and teaches those who don't know better that The Man always has the power, just as he threatened the Jena Six from the beginning.