Shaquanda Cotton To Be Freed

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Good Decisions, Law, Race

Well, there you have it. Shine a little sunlight onto the Shaquanda Cotton case and we can collectively turn things around.

From the Chicago Tribune:

HOUSTON — Shaquanda Cotton, the teenage black girl in the small east Texas town of Paris who was sent to prison for up to seven years for shoving a teacher’s aide, will be freed soon, a senior Texas legislator confirmed today.

“She is going to be freed, I know that for a fact, either today or sometime next week,” state Rep. Harold Dutton, chairman of the Texas legislature’s juvenile justice committee, told the Tribune. “I told [prison officials] I wanted her out of there immediately. When I learned about this case, I thought, this case just looks so bad and smells so bad it made me hurt.”

Looks so bad and smells so bad it made him hurt. As well it should. Because let’s not forget, she’s done almost a YEAR in juvenile. For pushing somebody. Disgusting.

But now the question is going to be what to do with the court system that brought down this grossly incompetent sentence? Especially since it appears that they were lying on their website about what Cotton said during hearings…

[Spokesoman for Lamar County District Atty. Gary Young,] Allan Hubbard also backed away from claims he and Young made earlier this week in numerous media interviews that the judge in the case, Lamar County Judge Chuck Supeville, had had no choice but to send the youth to prison because her mother had testified that she would not cooperate with probation officials had the judge sentenced her to probation.

On Thursday, Young’s official Web site contained this assertion: “This juvenile’s mother (Creola Cotton) told the judge she would not comply with conditions of probation.”

But a review of the full court transcript shows no such testimony. In fact, Creola Cotton repeatedly answered “yes” when asked in court whether she would comply with any conditions of probation that the judge might impose.

Today, after an inquiry about this discrepancy by the Tribune, the district attorney’s Web site was altered to read: “Through her actions of non-cooperation, Ms. Cotton told the judge she would not comply with conditions of probation.”

Seems like some people need to be fired over this, no?


This entry was posted on Friday, March 30th, 2007 and is filed under Good Decisions, Law, Race. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Shaquanda Cotton To Be Freed”

  1. DosPeros Says:

    Your not going to claim Selma as your home and break into “We shall overcome” are you? I might vomit if you do.

  2. Justin Gardner Says:

    You know, for somebody who’s such a stringent opponent of draconian marijuana laws, you’ve certainly been extremely harsh and skeptical of a case that became obvious to everyone that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

    And while I know you do it on purpose, I just wish you’d engage in conversation instead of trying to drop snarky, pseudo-controversial comments. Especially since you comment here so often.

    Can we get a little less DP and little more JH please?

  3. DosPeros Says:

    you’ve certainly been extremely harsh and skeptical of a case that became obvious to everyone that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

    Justin, will you enlighten us with what you think the punishment, i.e. the sentence of Ms. Cotton was in this case? Because I think you are still, perhaps purposefully, working under the 7 years idea, which is incorrect.

    I’m always a harsh critic of bandwagon jumpineers that see a trendy-case and are willing to throw around accusations of racism to make friends with lefty Charlatans at the Chicago Tribune. I posted the entire statement of the Judge that sentenced Cotton – Are you still convinced it was “race-motivated”?

    You do not my understand my stance on marijuana laws. I don’t think the federal government has an reason to be regulating marijuana. As for the great state of Missouri, Kansas, Wyoming, Nebraska and all the other – if they want to waste their resources putting stoners in the clink, more power to them.

  4. Justin Gardner Says:

    This is the Shaquanda Cotton case we’re talking about, right?

    Yes, I know it’s “up to” 7 years, but from all indications the prosecutor’s office had every intention to keep this girl locked up for the full length. Take a look at the story above. They say the mother wasn’t cooperating and yet the court transcript shows otherwise.

    So who’s right here? I’m thinking it’s the Cottons since this case was overturned at light speed once it got some media attention.

    As far as racism…when a white girl can get away with arson, but Cotton gets up to 7 years for shoving somebody…something’s incredibly rotten with that. It may all sound very official and very logical sounding, but that doesn’t mask what lies underneath. If she should serve ANY time, it should have a month at the most. This girl had no prior convictions. Wake up Dos.

    Lastly, it feels like you’re being disingenuous in regards to marijuana laws. It’d be a travesty for the feds to arrest somebody, but state authorities, well, that’s okay? Seriously?

  5. ChrisO Says:

    I don’t think this young lady needs to be painted as an angel in order to argue that this is a miscarriage of justice. It boggles my mind that defenders of the sentence are hanging their argument on the fact that the sentence is only “up to” seven years, and not necessarily the full term. The point is, seven years should never even be an option. Assuming she doesn’t misbehave in juvenile detention, there should be no circumstances under which she faces even the possibility of seven years. For shoving someone? Come on.

    It’s more than a little disingenuous to say the length of her sentence is up to her, she just has to behave in such a way that it meets the approval of her jailers. So if the length of her sentence depends on their approval, then it really isn’t in her hands. That’s like an abusive husband telling his wife he’ll stop beating her, if she would just stop buring the pot roast. Wouldn’t that mean her fate was in her hands?

    Repentance and accepting responsibility are fine. If she won’t meet those conditions, then don’t shorten her sentence. Just don’t make the maximum term seven years.

  6. redd34 Says:

    America is All messed up, the fact that we are discussing such a horrible instance of justice is proof! Damn!

  7. Ruben L. Gray jr. Says:

    I found this while looking for imformation about the public defender system in the Lamar County. If you can help me with info status,or guidance. I am determined to effect some changes in the process in which our young people as well as the mature are defended in this rebel court system in Lamar county (Paris,Texas). So please reply with any advise,help,or directions of importance in my quest for system reform. In 1999 I was charged with a crime of which I was innocent and spent four months in jail, I was appointed an attorney by the court,the attorney first appointed to my case was an excellent defender,but died before I went to court another was appointed,who was not so excellent, and with only one counseling session with set up a court date. Itold him that it was impossible for to plan and execute any valid defense he wanted to continued to go to court so I dismissed him, he told me that he didn’t work for me he worked for the judge. Another attorney was appointed. I also informed this attorney that there was to be no plea bargin. After several months he came to me with a plea bargain and when I refused to accept the plea he and the district attorney proceeded to try to coerce me by theating me with my past record which does not exist after 25 years it did not appear on the ncic done by the Department of Public Safety the only way the district attorney could possibly Known of anything my attorney had to share the imformation I gave to the attorney. If you know something to help please let me know. I am sure that there are many others who have suffered this type of persecution and was not as fortunante as I my case was eventually dismissed. Thank you. Ruben L. Gray jr.

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