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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Brutal Attack on Black Man in Texas Draws Lenient Sentences

From KLTV in East Texas:  "LINDEN, Texas A mentally disabled black man is found unconscious, brain-bruised and shivering on a fire ant mound.

Four white men charged in the incident could have faced 10 years in prison. But some people in this East Texas town of 2,300 say they knew better.On Friday, the four young men accused of severely injuring 44-year-old Billy Ray Johnson during a late-night "pasture party" in 2003 are expected to be sentenced to probation or brief jail time after juries rejected more serious charges and recommended suspended sentences for two of them.  Some white residents believe it's a fair outcome for a few "good boys" from prominent families with no previous legal trouble. But other residents -- blacks and whites -- say the sentences are far from fair and just another example of justice being tainted by small-town politics, racism and a court system that favors whites."  [Mark Godsey]

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