This is for those who have those delusional thoughts of taking someones life … 

Thinking back on all those grandiose moments of gangsta rap, hearing the term ‘murder kill’ or anything remotely close, was normal. I can remember moments with people who gladly exposed a pistol-pump shotgun or an array of automatic weapons. I would often wonder what-in-the-hell are you going to do with that? I knew one thing for sure: I did not want to be on the other end of anyone of those guns. 

Shotgun

One of my array of crazy uncles, uncle Troy was shot in the stomach at close range; supposedly with some sort of high powered riffle. As a result his stomach had to be replaced with a plastic stomach. His appetite was never the same nor did he ever gain his two hundred plus pounds back. The liquor he drank did not help at all. Looking back on it, I think he was so traumatized that it actually drove him quite crazy. I once asked him about what it felt like. He stated: ‘The shit burns man no matter how much water I drank – nothing could cool me down. The fire was inside of me. Whatever you do, don’t ever get shot!’

Charged with first degree murder

Moving forward I was charged with first degree murder. That charge itself caused chills running up and down my arms. It even emitted a bitter acidic taste coming from the pit of my gut easing up to my esophagus and finally it danced on the palate of my tongue. Unbelief still resides in me. I’ve done what it takes to prove my innocence. Wading through the Appeal Courts is another matter altogether. 

How could I dare to talk about a dreary subject matter like this? Why not me? 

I have endured and lived with it: the finger pointing, guilt, hurt, unbelief, judicial system, prison system, rumours, hate, confusion and loss. So I am allowed to talk about it. 

Convicted

When this case happened to my family, a string of murders followed in Lufkin, Texas. A summary: Elaine was a victim of domestic abuse, she turned the tables and shot her husband. Another lady, Tabidell shot her husband in Louisiana and tossed him in their trunk and drove him back to Lufkin. An older lady had an older friend who drove her to work daily at a chickenplant. She discovered this much older man was returning to her house and molesting her very young daughter. She eventually stabbed him at work where he bled to death. Tyson stabbed a guy in the chest, killed him and covered the body up with leaves. An associate of mine, Bull, was accused of shooting a guy in the back of the head and killing him. In his case there were too many other mitigating circumstances but he was still charged with first degree murder. Further, another guy I know, Hot Dog, had an argument with a family member. He would eventually shoot the guy and he was also charged with murder.

The only 3 people who were incarcerated were us three young black males.

The others walked away clear or received probation.

Many years later my first cousin was shot, killed and robbed. At that point my mind reeled. I wondered openly why? These senseless acts of murder were all mindblowing but they happen daily. In every instance that I watch the local news, I see that someone was murdered in some type of fashion. 

This is what people need to realize!

Lost

Yeah, some people get off but in most cases if you take a life you will be sentenced to prison. In Texas you can expect 35 years or more. Meaning, that you will lose virtually everything in your possession and everything meaning family in numerous fashions. Since I have been here, I can’t count the number of people that died – by the way I will never be allowed to go to their funeral. I missed out on rearing and raising my now adult children. I was not there to witness none of my 7 grandchildrens birth. My family ties, are all strained. On the flipside, look at the damage caused: the persons that lost their lives will forever be lost. That means that their children will never have a parent, brother, sister or cousin. They will never share important events. All is lost. Taking a life or having your life taken is a total loss for all those involved. 

To the gangsters 

Prison

Let me tell you this. Prison is a dark, twisted, lonely place. I’m tired of waking up surrounded by complete strangers. You’re probably thinking something along the lines of: ‘smoking this dude’ or ‘busting a cup in this fool’ and so on but it does not even come close to taking a life. I’ve lived this LIE for 26 years behind bars and counting. It’s an absolutely horrible existence. When you get out of prison (which I have not) imagine what life will be like. If you don’t have any business savy – you’ll have to work and explain to your employer everyting about that ‘murder case’ and then get rejected. I will end this one with this: an associate of mine shot a paralized guy. He did his time and got out. Upon release the guys brother killed him. The horror of taking a life, living with it (even thou like in my case), is a horrible thing. I truly understand why ex military have to be debriefed to just be around normal people. Prisoners are offered NOTHING. 

Derrick L. Griffin, 20-01-2021