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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Black Political Prisoners In The United States

AAPP says, H/T to Michael Richardson of the Boston Progressive Examiner for his Special Report on of 70's era leaders of Omaha's chapter of the Black Panther Party who are political prisoners. I wonder what the Obama administration is going to do, to review all these Black Panthers who were victims of J. Edgar Hoover political agenda.

Get this, as reported by Micheal Richardson, On August 17, 1970, an Omaha, Nebraska policeman, Larry Minard, was murdered in an ambush bombing at a vacant house. Two men, Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice), are serving life sentences at the Nebraska State Penitentiary for his killing. The pair were leaders of Omaha's chapter of the Black Panther Party. Most people assume justice was done in the case and little effort has been made by the news media to dig into the hidden aspects of the crime.

Poindexter has a new trial request pending before the Nebraska Supreme Court and an examination of the record, much of it still hidden by Federal Bureau of Investigation censors, reveals a dozen reasons to question the outcome of the trial.

New Trial Reason Twelve: The injustice of Stone v. Powell

Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) appealed his murder conviction for the bombing death of policeman Larry Minard. While Mondo didn't get relief from the state court system he found an impartial judge in federal court.

U. S. District Court Judge Warren Urbom heard Mondo's appeal for violations of his 4th Amendment rights. After listening to testimony from a police lieutenant, James Perry, Judge Urbom rejected Perry's account of events and found that Mondo we Langa's civil rights were indeed violated by Omaha police.

"Therefore, it is the holding of this court that the police were not rightfully on the premises of David Rice on the night of August 22, 1970, and thus all of the evidence obtained by the search of the house that night was seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment and should not have been received into evidence at petitioner's criminal trial."

Judge Urbom ruled, "Therefore, the petitioner must either be released from custody or granted a new trial free of the tainted evidence."

The prosecution appealed and a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reviewed Urbom's decision to grant a new trial. The federal appellate judges examined carefully the police justification for entering Mondo's residence without a proper warrant.
"In fact, the testimony of the various police officers at the evidentiary hearing held before the district court strongly suggests that the police had no evidence whatever that Peak was at petitioner's house and that they were acting on nothing more than a hunch or random guess."
As for Perry's version of events, the three-judge panel was abrupt. "After reviewing the record, we find that Judge Urbom's decision to discredit this particular testimony was amply supported by the record."

"Moreover, testimony before Judge Urbom suggests that the purpose of searching for explosives was an afterthought conceived after the police arrived at the house, rather than an urgent emergency, and that they decided to apply for a warrant to search for explosives in the petitioner's house only because they had not discovered dynamite in any of the other locations they had searched earlier in the day."

"We consider it necessary to point out that the record discloses a widespread search for the suspects Peak and Poindexter which evinced at least a negligent disregard by the Omaha police for the constitutional rights of not only petitioner but possibly other citizens as well."
The appellate court ordered Mondo we Langa to be freed or retried, bringing the total to four federal judges that closely examined the case and ordered a new trial. More HERE

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