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Framed by the FBI: A dozen reasons the 'Omaha Two' deserve a new trial (1 of 6)

By       Message Michael Richardson     Permalink
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Peak, under threat of the electric chair, finally told interrogators what they wanted to hear, he had been put up to the crime by Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa.  A preliminary hearing was scheduled. 

However, Peak didn't follow the script and refused to name the two Panther leaders in court.  A recess was called for several hours.  When Peak returned to the stand he was wearing sunglasses and was noticeably trembling.  Defense attorney David Herzog asked Peak about his sudden change of demeanor. 

ATTORNEY:  "What happened to make you shake and bring your nervous condition about now?" 

PEAK:  "I don't know." 

ATTORNEY:  "You had a conversation between the time you were placed on the witness stand this morning and the present time now, isn't that correct?" 

PEAK:  "Yes." 

ATTORNEY:  "And there were some things that the police officers told you about what would happen to you, like sitting in the electric chair, isn't that correct?" 

PEAK:  "I didn't have a chance." 

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ATTORNEY:  "You didn't have a chance, did you?" 

PEAK:  "No." 

ATTORNEY:  You are doing what they want you to do, aren't you?" 

PEAK:  "Yes." 

After implicating Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, in the solitude of his jail cell, the young killer would express remorse in a letter, known to the prosecution but withheld from the defense. 

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"The Lord knows I tried but something happened which forced me to realize I had no alternative but to say what I said.  No matter what anyone says from now on I refuse to call myself a man, or anything close to a man because I did what I did.  Even though there was no other way, because they already had enough evidence to convict those other two bloods." 

"I not only turned against those two bloods, but I turned against myself and my own people.  I could have denied everything and all three of us would have gone up to the chair.  And then again if I denied everything one of those other bloods would have gave them a story and sent me and the other dude up." 

Peak ended up with a deal and was sentenced as a juvenile serving 33 months of detention before his release while the 'Omaha Two' remain in prison.

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Michael Richardson is a freelance writer based in Boston. Richardson writes about politics, law, nutrition, ethics, and music. Richardson is also a political consultant.

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