Attorneys for Kenneth
"Supreme" McGriff have asked the Department of Justice to reconsider
punishing the convicted drug lord with the death penalty, after the mothers of
his two victims said they would be adversely affected by a death verdict. McGriff’s
attorney David Ruhnke sent the "urgent request for reconsideration"
to Washington, D.C. on Feb. 1, the day McGriff was convicted of paying $50,000
to gun down rivals Troy Singleton and Eric "E Money Bags" Smith.Troy
Singleton’s mother Bessie stated she didn’t want anyone’s "death on her hands,"
while Smith’s mother told reporters that there has "already been enough death."McGriff
allegedly ordered the hit on Singleton, who was shot four times in the body and
head outside a sports bar in Queens, NY in 2001. Eric
"E Money Bags" Smith, a drug dealer and part-time rapper, was shot 10
times and killed in 2001 while sitting in his SUV on a Queens street. The
government also accused McGriff of several other shootings, including that of
superstar Queens rapper, 50 Cent, who fictionalized McGriff as the character "Majestic"
in his 2005 movie, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’. Federal
authorities also maintained that McGriff was actively dealing drugs and had also
ordered several other hits, including a drug-related double homicide outside of
an apartment complex in Owings Mills, MD.McGriff
was the head of the notorious "Supreme Team," a Queens based drug-dealing
crew. He was convicted of drug dealing in the 1980’s and served a 12-year sentence
and his attorneys maintain that he went legit after being released.His
former attorney Robert Simels did not agree with the verdict and accused the government
of going to any length to convict McGriff."I
am saddened that another injustice has occurred with the conviction of Mr. McGriff,"
Simels told AllHipHop.com. "That the prosecution had a clear intent to convict
Mr. McGriff at all costs, has been obvious for the past 5 years."Simels,
who represented McGriff until 2005, has also done defense work for Irv Gotti’s
Murder Inc. label. McGriff
became the center piece of a federal investigation into Murder Inc. for corruption
and drug dealing in 2002, during an infamous feud between Irv "Gotti"
Lorenzo, rapper Ja Rule and 50 Cent, who all hail from Queens. His
association with Gotti’s Murder Inc. record label led to the company being indicted
on federal money laundering charges. Authorities
accused McGriff of secretly owning Murder Inc. and using the company to launder
millions in drug proceeds. After
a high profile trial in 2005, both Gotti and his brother Christopher Lorenzo were
acquitted of all charges. McGriff,
however was indicted for multiple murders, including the brazen shootings of Singleton
"In the current case, they made deals with anyone and everyone if only they
were willing to say Mr. McGriff was involved with them in criminal acts,"
Simels said of the prosecution. "The worst of those witnesses, had committed
multiple murders but will get reduced sentences for having "cooperated"
with the prosecution."Simels
said that he believed McGriff was not guilty of the charges. If
McGriff could have afforded better counsel, perhaps he may not have been convicted
of the charges, Simels said. In
a conversation in Apr. 2005 recorded from the Brooklyn prison that housed McGriff,
McGriff stated that he was going to attempt to reach out to top name rap celebrities
to help fund his defense. "Had
he had sufficient funds to hire counsel of his choice and fight the charges he
would have not been convicted," Simels told AllHipHop.com. "I remain
hopeful the jury will not agree to recommend the death penalty."At
press time, Ruhnke’s request is being reviewed by federal officials in Washington,