Thursday, March 22, 2007

Paris, Texas Justice Appears To Be Back In The Days Of The Lynch Mob

I was recently surfing the Web and found that Shaquanda Cotton has been freed from prison after a ridiculous conviction of 7 years for shoving a school monitor.

I was so angered by this that when I first read about Miss Cotton's situation I wrote to the Governor of Texas and asked him to intercede on her behalf. So did many other people. And thankfully, common sense has prevailed here and Shaquanda is now free.

I wrote the following several months ago on behalf of Shaquanda:

I just found this post while surfing the Internet and was so angered by the injustice of what is happening to a 14 year old African American student who resides in Texas, that I decided to include her story on today's blog.

What I'd like to know is exactly where was the FBI when this child was tossed into prison for 7 years, by some racist judge, for shoving a teacher???

I'm not justifying what Shaquanda Cotton did. And as far as I'm concerned, she should have been reprimanded for it. But sentencing her to 7 years in prison? Exactly what was this judge thinking?? Or is he simply a racist whose ideology is back in the 1960's, a time when an African American was unable to use the same restroom as a white person, unable to ride in the front of a bus, and unable to eat in a restaurant which was exclusive to whites?

From the following article it certainly seems that the racism of the '60's has been revisited in Paris, Texas in the present day. And that the judicial system in this town is as backwards as it was forty years ago. The issue now is that there is an imminent need to get this child out of prison before she is either too psychologically damaged to reenter society, or dead. And given that she's already attempted suicide three times, exactly what the hell is this racist fool of a judge waiting for?

I can tell you this. If Shaquanda Cotton should suddenly be found dead in her cell, this judge is going to be facing more adversity than he can possibly imagine, and from people all over the United States - not just Paris, Texas! The sentence that Judge Chuck Superville has imposed on Shaquanda Cotton is not only unreasonable; it is not only unconstitutional; it is not only just plain wrong -- It is INSANE!

Read on to learn more about the lynch mob mentality and the Neanderthal mindset that appears to be a common problem within the judicial system in Paris, Texas, where whites are given special treatment by Judge Chuck Superville, while African Americans are forced to suffer ridculously innappropriate and unjust sentences for minor crimes.

Shaquanda Cotton Is Comforted By A Supporter

Shaquanda's story is below. You can access a link at the end of this story to send a letter to Texas Governor Rick Perry, to state your disapproval of Judge Superville's ruling and request that he intercede on behalf of Shaquanda.

My E-mail to the Governor is below.

Dear Governor Perry:

I know that you are a busy man and do not wish to take up more of your valuable time than I have to. However, when I learned of the sentence which was imposed on Shaquanda Cotton, by Judge Chuck Superville, I was enraged.

How dare this man subject a child of 14 to seven years in prison for pushing a teacher's aide. Her punishment should have at most been a temporary suspension from school. The sentence that Judge Superville imposed was not only outrageous; it was equally as inhumane.

As Governor, you have the authority to look into this case and if necessary, to see to it that this judge reverses his decision. Miss Cotton has already attempted suicide three times due to the tremendous psychological burden that she has been unjustly subjected to.

Please intercede on her behalf before another tragedy and injustice occurs. It's clear from some of his other rulings that Judge Superville has a racial bias when it comes to sentencing African Americans, and as such, should be removed from the bench.

I thank you in advance for your time and sincerely hope that you can be of assistance to Miss Cotton and her family.

James F. Marino
Brookville, NY 11545

14 year old Texan girl gets 7 yrs in prison for shoving a teacher's aide
Posted by Vanessa Di Domenico Thu, 22 Mar 2007 03:33:23 -0800


A small town in Texas that seems to relish in its violent racial past...

Paris, Texas is the home of the Paris Fairgrounds, a
stage where thousands of white spectators would
gather to burn and lynch blacks as if at some sort of
carnival. today, it is a highly segregated town that
has implicity dared anyone to question how it chooses
to treat blacks that live in the area.

The facts:

Black parents have filed at least a 12 discrimination
complaints against the school district with the
Federal Education Department, asserting that their
children, who constitute 40 percent of the district's
nearly 4,000 students, were singled out for excessive
discipline the Paris public schools are under investigation by
the U.S. Education Department.

A 19-year-old white man, convicted last july of criminally negligent
homicide for killing a 54-year-old black woman and her 3-year-old grandson
with his truck, was sentenced in Paris to probation. Judge Chuck Superville sentenced a 14-year-old white girl, convicted of arson for burning down her family's house, to probation. A 14-year-old black Freshman, Shaquanda Cotton, shoved a 58-year-old teacher's aide at Paris High School in a dispute over entering the building before the school day had officially begun.

She was tried in March 2006 in the town's juvenile court, convicted of assault
on a public servant and sentenced by the same judge, Chuck Superville, to prison
for up to 7 years, until she turns 21.

Yes, you read that last part right.

I'll let it sink in for a second.

So it's 2007, one state is drafting formal legislation
to apologize for slavery, and another is trying to
flex its don't mess with Texas ego.

While I complained earlier of how dismayed I was that some
black blogs tend to be angry, this type of reality
justifies that sentiment, and rightfully so.

While I've never been the most articulate when it comes to
expressing the complete shock of in plain view
racism, I can honestly say that this type of white
arrogance and hate needs to be called out and handled

But how? The article mentions that the NAACP is
on the case (rolling eyes), but I feel like more, MUCH
MORE needs to be done. If you get to the end of the article, the
turmoil suffered by Shaquanda in juvenile prison, where 95% of
the offenders are repeat and violent (read: real crimes), has
caused her to attempt suicide on her life 3 times. 3 times!

A 14-year old, my little sister, is trying to kill herself
because a racist biggot of a judge put her in prison for shoving someone.


So what can be done? Link to this article. Publicize this story. Let's see what blogging black can really do. Go to the Governor's page at
and let him know how you feel and how this is completely bullshit.

Free Shaquanda Cotton.


I ask that some of my more articulate readers post a
statement in the comments that we can all use on the
contact form on the Texas Governor page.

[update 1]: Looks like we re getting the word spread.
a fb group has started.

[update 2]: I started a thread over at topix.
interesting povs, without question. ive also gotten
word from a few friends that we have connections to
ebony magazine and cnn that are being explored. keep
spreading the word!

[update 3]: A site has been setup for her at

Shaquanda's story can also be found in the following Chicago Tribune Article,1,335702.story?page=1&coll=chi-homepagenews-utl&ctrack=1&cset=true


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