Legislator: Paris teen to be freed today

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DALLAS (AP) - A legislator says a black teen whose sentence to a juvenile prison for pushing a teacher's aide enraged civil rights activists, is set to be freed today.

The case involves 15-year-old Shaquanda Cotton of Paris, Texas.

Representative Harold Dutton of Houston chairs the House juvenile justice committee.

Dutton says the new conservator of the Texas Youth Commission,
Jay Kimbrough, told him Cotton is being freed after twelve months in a Brownwood facility.

Dutton calls the case "the poster child of everything wrong with the criminal justice system."

Cotton was convicted of a felony count of shoving the teacher's aide, who's classified as a public servant, at Paris High School in 2005.

Activists note the same judge sentenced a white fourteen-year-old girl to probation for arson.

Prosecutors, who said they were told today by the TYC that Cotton didn't meet the agency's standards for release, expressed surprise at Dutton's news.

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