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Monday, June 01, 2009

Gangland - Aryan Brotherhood

Link of the day - I will pay you $25, if you come up with a cool domain name for me.

The Aryan Brotherhood, also known as the AB or The Brand, is a White prison gang numbering about 15,000 members in and out of prison. In March 2006, four leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood were indicted for numerous crimes, including murder, conspiracy, drug trafficking, racketeering, and dog fighting. According to the FBI, although the gang makes up less than 1% of the prison population, it is responsible for up to 18% of murders in the federal prison system.

Until the 1960s, most prisons in the United States were racially segregated. As prisons began to desegregate, inmates organized along racial lines. The Aryan Brotherhood is believed to have been formed by a group of bikers in 1964 at San Quentin State Prison, with prosecutors of cases against the gang saying it was formed in reaction to the Black Panthers. It may have been derived from or inspired by a previous entity, the Bluebird Gang. Originally its membership was exclusively Irish American and most of its activities were racially-based, but over time the gang became more profit-driven and began to incorporate other white and even mixed-race members.

On June 23, 2005, after a 20-month investigation, a federal strike force raided six houses in northeastern Ohio belonging to the "Order of the Blood", a criminal organization controlled by the Aryan Brotherhood. Thirty-four Aryan Brotherhood members or associates were arrested and warrants were issued for ten more.

Also in 2005, culminating an eight year investigation, federal prosecutors indicted forty members of the organization, thirty of whom were already incarcerated, for a wide variety of crimes. Prosecuting the gang has been historically difficult, because many members are already serving life sentences with no possibility of parole, so prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for twenty-one of those indicted but have dropped the death penalty on all but five defendants. By September of that year, the nineteen indictees not eligible for the death penalty had plead guilty. The first of a series of trials involving four high level members ended in convictions in July 2006. Two of the four went through a death penalty hearing and the jury deadlocked. Before sentencing, federal prosecutors filed a request that once the sentencing was over, the four would live out their sentences in solitary confinement, banned from communicating with anyone except their attorneys. The judge refused to rule on the request, telling prosecutors to file it with the US Attorney General and they immediately withdrew. One was sentenced to four life terms, two were sentenced to three life terms, all without the possibility of parole, and one has yet to be sentenced. Some members are still awaiting trial.

Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture

Gangland: The Complete Season One

Inside: Life Behind Bars in America


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