http://www.religionnewsblog.com/15273/a ... y-on-trial
The government called to the stand cutthroats and con men, prolific killers and proud lifelong outlaws. They raised their hands and swore to tell the truth.
One claimed he robbed banks to protest the plight of American Indians. One said he plunged a knife through a friend’s throat. One spoke of subduing a drug-addled enemy so he could be strangled with a braided bedsheet. One lost count of the men he had murdered.
For much of the five past months, jurors in the murder and racketeering trial against the Aryan Brotherhood have watched a bizarre, blood-curdling pageant of career criminals take the witness box at the federal courthouse in Santa Ana to testify against what prosecutors call one of the nation’s most ruthless prison gangs.
As portrayed by more than two dozen Brotherhood defectors and former associates, the gang was so fearsome, so quick to kill, that with just a few dozen members it controlled drug and gambling rackets in prisons nationwide. Over and over, witnesses pointed to the two graying men with the bald heads and biker mustaches chained in the first row of the defendants’ dock, Barry “The Baron” Mills and T.D. “The Hulk” Bingham, as its masterminds.
Prosecutors say the gang’s violence culminated in a “race war” that left two black inmates dead at the federal prison in Lewisburg, Pa., in 1997. Called to the stand by the government, Al Benton, who said he was the prison’s highest-ranking Brotherhood member at the time, testified that he plunged a shiv into the throat of a black inmate he considered a friend.
Benton said he received a smuggled message from Bingham, who was being held at the Supermax in Florence, Colo., ordering him to wage war on blacks. The defense acknowledges that Bingham got a message to Benton, but maintains it was merely a warning to be on guard in an increasingly hostile racial climate.
The defense argued that Benton, whose eyes filled with tears when he discussed his friendship with Mills, decided to inform on the gang he loved because he would otherwise face the death penalty or life in shackled isolation for the Lewisburg murder. Instead, he was allowed to plead to an assault charge and received a nine-year sentence.
Prosecutors said the gang had just 100 members but could depend on legions of “associates” to do its bidding. But defense attorney Fleming ridiculed the government’s portrayal of the “all-reaching, all-knowing Aryan Brotherhood,” and said it was “ludicrous” that a gang comprising “one-tenth of 1% of the prison population” could wage war against enemies that vastly outnumbered it.
if your not for us your against us- George W. Relected president.