Department of Justice To Decide Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff's Fate

Defense attorneys

for Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff recently petitioned a federal judge

to require the Department of Justice to rule on a decision in McGriff's pending

death penalty case.

McGriff's attorneys,

Jean D. Barrett and David A. Ruhnke, have requested U.S. District Judge Edward

R. Korman to require that the Department rule on whether the convicted drug

kingpin's murder trial will proceed as a capital or non-capital case by March


In a legal correspondence

to Judge Korman, dated Jan. 27, Barrett and Ruhnke cited the attorney general's

"death penalty protocols" as the basis for the request.

The Department

protocols require that the U.S. Attorney submit his or her death penalty recommendation,

no later than "67 days prior to the date on which the government is required

to file notice that it intends to seek the death penalty."

"There will,

however, not be answer on this issue for several weeks; Supreme's case is at

the so-called 'death desk' at the Department of Justice in DC and they have

until March 27 to make a decision," author Ethan Brown told

Brown wrote the

book, Queens

Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent & the Rise of the Hip-Hop Hustler,

which details the criminal underworld of Queens, N.Y., McGriff's ties to The

Inc., and the borough's relationship with the Hip-Hop industry.

Judge Korman set

a peremptory trial date of April 3, which gives the DOJ a little more than two

months to rule on the case.

If a decision on

the death penalty is not made by the start of the trial, the case would proceed

as a non-capital case.

The charges against

McGriff are the result of a coordinated initiative by federal and local law

enforcement agencies, including the New York City Police Department, the IRS,

FBI, and ATF.

Five individuals

and two corporations are charged with an array of offenses, including racketeering,

drug trafficking, money laundering, and murder, including the slaying of Queens

rapper Eric "E Money Bags" Smith.