Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Feds Move Against The Aryan Brotherhood

The Aryan Brotherhood seems to be a bunch of generally unpleasant people. Members of the white power prison gang make up less than 0.1% of the national inmate population, yet are responsible for 18% of all murders committed behind bars. The truly hardened members of the gang are the lifers, guys who have already been sentenced to life without parole. As the imposition of further years in prison means nothing to them, these lifers act with impunity within prisons, particularly in states that do not have a death penalty. Which is why the federal government recently charged 40 Brotherhood members and associates in a giant racketeering indictment. Twenty-one of those charged are facing the death penalty for ordering or carrying out murders inside the prison system. As one federal prosecutor said of the case, “Capital punishment is the one arrow left in our quiver… I think even a lot of people who are against the death penalty in general would recognize that in this particular instance, where people are committing murder repeatedly from behind bars, there is little other option." As a person who in general opposes capital punishment, I would say that he might have a point.


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