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Friday, March 23, 2007

Free Shaquanda Cotton

A 14-year-old black girl is entering her second year of a 7-year sentence for SHOVING A HALL MONITOR who sustained no injuries. OK, the girl was wrong to shove the woman in the first place, but 7 freaking years?!!! Until this ruling, Shaquanda had never been arrested before. She is not due to get out until she is 21. She is going to spend the remainder of her teen years behind bars with actual felons. If you don't understand the whole picture, note that the same judge who gave Shaquanda seven years just gave probation to a white teenager for arson. Probation. You see the picture now?

When I read this, I had to take a moment to breathe it was so fucking upsetting. It's 2007, not 1937, but obviously Paris, Texas is unaware of that fact. What is also maddening is that the harsh sentence appears to be retaliatory because Shaquanda's mother was very vocal about the rampant racism at the girl's school. Once her mother started speaking up, Shaquanda found herself being written up for things like having her skirt an inch too short or filling her art cup to the brim. Based on these pitiful write-ups, in addition to the shoving, her teachers and administrators recommended that she be sent to prison.

Shaquanda has a blog with mailing addresses to the judge and governor, and I'm listing them here, also. I am appealing to all of you who read this blog to actually put pen to paper and protest this travesty. And if you have a blog, please pass on the info below. If nothing else, we have the power of the pen and keyboard. Truly, if you choose to remain silent, you are basically saying that what is happening to this child is OK.

Shaquanda receives mail at:
Ron Jackson Correctional Complex,
Unit 2, Dorm 4
P.O. Box 872
Brownwood, Texas 76804

Paula Mooney is urging that protest letters be sent to Judge Chuck Superville, who handed down the sentence:

Honorable M.C. (Chuck) Superville, Jr., Judge
Lamar County Courthouse
119 North Main
Paris, TX 75460
Phone # 903-737-2410
Fax # 903-785-3858

Letters can also be sent to Texas Gov. Rick Perry through his website.

Read the Chicago Tribune story that brought this travesty to national attention.

Addendum: Here is information to contact Governor Rick Perry:

Mailing Address
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Delivery Address
Office of the Governor
State Insurance Building
1100 San Jacinto
Austin, Texas 78701

Citizen's Opinion Hotline: (800) 252-9600
[for Texas callers]

Citizen's Assistance and Opinion Hotline: (512) 463-1782
[for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers]

Office of the Governor Main Switchboard: (512) 463-2000
[office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST]

Office of the Governor Fax: (512) 463-1849


Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 3/23/2007 03:25:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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