2 Aryan Brotherhood Gang Leaders Convicted

KFMB CBS News, San Diego/January 10, 2007

Los Angeles -- Two men who prosecutors say helped lead the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang in California were convicted Tuesday of plotting at least six murders from behind bars.

A federal jury found Robert "Blinky" Griffin, 59, and John "Youngster" Stinson, 52, guilty of conspiracy to commit racketeering and committing violent acts in aid of racketeering.

They face life in prison without the possibility of parole when they are sentenced May 14.

Stinson is already serving a life sentence for another murder. Griffin has been in prison since 1970 and was to have been eligible for parole in several years. One of Griffin's attorneys, Michael Crain, said his client would appeal the verdict.

Prosecutors alleged the men orchestrated the killings of snitches and unreliable members of the violent white supremacist prison gang as a way of maintaining discipline.

During a six-week trial, prosecutors presented evidence to show an "Aryan Brotherhood conspiracy" and said the men ran the gang while in the California Institution for Men at Chino in the 1980s and 1990s.

Defense lawyers argued Griffin and Stinson had renounced their Aryan Brotherhood membership in the '80s, before the murders occurred. They questioned the credibility of prison inmates and former Aryan Brotherhood members who testified for the prosecution, arguing they were lying to get favors from the government.

The trial followed the July conviction of four Aryan Brotherhood leaders on federal charges in Santa Ana. Three were sentenced to life in prison without parole and a fourth was expected to receive the same sentence.

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