Ohio prosecutors allege that Keith Lamar was the leader of a group of prisoners dubbed the death squad and was responsible for ordering the deaths of five inmates during Ohio’s longest and bloodiest prison uprising, at Lucasville in 1993. Since the uprising he has taken the African name Bomani Shakur.
Bomani: Things are going surprisingly well. A lot has happened since we last spoke. [His self-published] book “Condemned” has been well received and is in the process of being reproduced for wider circulation. I’ve also won several crucial decisions in court and am one step closer to receiving a new trial. The court granted me an evidentiary hearing. I’ll be going back to court in mid-March.
Bomani: Well, first and foremost, people should keep their minds open and let the facts speak for themselves. As time goes by, it’s starting to come out that the state hid evidence, forced certain individuals to lie, paid for testimony, etc., etc. So people need to suspend judgment long enough to look into what actually took place.
I think when it’s all over, said and done, Lucasville will go down as one of the biggest fiascos ever. And the fact that five men were placed on death row will, I think, spearhead the movement to abolish the death penalty altogether here in Ohio.
When the public sees just how corrupt this system is and how politicians use capital punishment as a tool to further their political careers, people are going to call for change, just like they’re doing now concerning the war in Iraq. It’s all about getting the truth out, man. And the truth about capital punishment is that only the poor and underprivileged are being killed. I didn’t kill anybody in the riot and, inasmuch as my life is not for them to take, I intend to keep on fighting.
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