[Pnews] Federal judge says Supreme Court got it wrong on Black Panther Mondo we Langa

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Nov 22 14:57:50 EST 2013

  Federal judge says Supreme Court got it wrong on Black Panther Mondo
  we Langa

November 22, 2013

United States District Judge Warren Urbom, whose ruling ordering a new 
trial for Mondo we Langa 
(then David Rice) was overturned on procedural grounds in 1976 by the 
Supreme Court, says the high court was wrong . The Supreme Court 
retroactively applied a new restriction on access to federal courts on 
Mondo we Langa which Judge Urbom says is not fair.

In/ Called to Justice/, Judge Urbom's recent memoir published by the 
University of Nebraska Press, there are several pages about Mondo we 
Langa's trial with Edward Poindexter 
for the murder of Omaha police officer Larry Minard, Sr, on August 17, 
1970. Mondo and Poindexter were officers in an affiliate chapter of the 
Black Panthers and were prosecuted for Minard's death. Mondo's house was 
searched and dynamite was allegedly found in the basement,

Mondo we Langa objected to the dynamite evidence 
because it was the result of an illegal search and Judge Urbom agreed 
with him that the Fourth Amendment had been violated by the police 
search. In the memoir, Urbom explained the exclusionary rule that guided 
the case.

"That rule was controversial from its beginning, and walked on wobbly 
legs until this /Rice/ case went to the Supreme Court. Simply put, many 
state court judges and prosecutors were offended over the fact that 
after two tiers of state courts---the state trial court and at least one 
appellate court in Rice's case, that meant the trial judge and the 
state's supreme court, a total of eight judges)---had held that the 
dynamite could be considered by the jury in deciding guilt or innocence 
of Rice, that the holding could be overturned by a single federal judge, 
including me," wrote Urbom.

However, a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals 
upheld Judge Urbom and complimented him on his decision to require a new 
trial for Mondo we Langa.

"Judge Urbom exercised painstaking care in resolving the factual and 
constitutional issues in this case. Having done so, Judge Urbom 
conscientiously and courageously concluded and demonstrated in two 
soundly reasoned opinions that the petitioner had been deprived of a 
basic constitutional right.," said the federal appellate court decision.

The Supreme Court refused to consider the merits of Mondo we Langa's 
case and whether or not Urbom was correct in ordering a new trial. 
Instead, the Supreme Court returned Mondo to Nebraska courts on 
procedural grounds limiting /habeas corpus/ appeals of state prisoners.

"I think it unfair to apply the new rule to David Rice's case...and I 
stoutly think that the law in effect when Rice was convicted should have 
been applied to his case, which would allow him a new trial without the 
use against him of the dynamite and other evidence found by an illegal 
search," wrote Urbom.

"The decision of the Supreme Court did not find that the dynamite and 
accoutrements were legally found or that the Nebraska state courts had 
been right in allowing use of that evidence at trial." Judge Urbom 
continued, "It found only that the federal court should not have taken 
the case---not because that had been the law when Rice had his trial, 
but because the Supreme Court was now changing the law as to when a 
federal court should take such a case."

Chief Justice Warren Burger was successful in his effort to reverse the 
so-called liberal trend of his predecessor Earl Warren. Mondo we Langa's 
case was consolidated with another convicted murderer and the Supreme 
Court restricted access to federal courts by state prisoners sending 
both men back to the state courts, where their outcomes were predictable.

Mondo we Langa and Ed Poindexter were targets of a clandestine operation 
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation code-named COINTELPRO 
Secret FBI documents released long after the conviction of the Omaha Two 
as the men are now called, reveal the FBI manipulated evidence in the 
case under orders of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

The jury that convicted the Omaha Two 
<http://www.examiner.com/topic/omaha-two-1> was never told about 
evidence tampering and the Supreme Court did not address COINTELPRO 
<http://www.examiner.com/topic/cointelpro> or the illegal search at 
Mondo we Langa's house.

Mondo we Langa is a twice-made political prisoner, first by the Director 
of the FBI and second by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The 
COINTELPRO-tainted trial in 1971 ordered by J. Edgar Hoover 
was the first time. The underlying agenda of Warren Burger to roll back 
Earl Warren's jurisprudence and Burger's retroactive application of new 
restrictions in 1975 on Mondo we Langa was the second time.

Warren Urbom was an appointee of President Richard Nixon and in August 
announced his retirement next year. Judge Urbom's career on the bench 
has spanned over four decades. Urbom is perhaps best known for presiding 
over many of the Wounded Knee trials in the late 1970's.

Mondo we Langa and Ed Poindexter remain in prison serving life sentences 
at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary where they continue 
to maintain their innocence.

*For further information see Crime Magazine 

/Permission granted to reprint/

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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