Complaining vs observations

At some point some of my topics come off sounding like complaints. Inside I smile at that notion. Of course this is NOT slavery or the civil rights era. But I question something. Those slave owners and people that decided to go out and ‘HANG’ some are no different than certain officials that casually toss minorities in prison in their early twenties. Then, if you’re lucky, that person will walk out in his/her 50’s or 60’s. The irony is, you walk out homeless, without money and just enough hope to try to find a less demanding job. I call that type of hanging a slow and bitter death.


Last night I started counting the loved ones who have died since my incarceration. I simply stopped at 30. In some cases an entire family was gone. The idea of going home wishing to hug some of the most important and influential of people is lost in time. I now can only hope to embrace a tombstone. Living through death is frightening when or if I go home. Nothing I used to know will be the same. This is my current existence.

Disparities in sentencing

I am in prison and have been for 26 years and counting. My biggest question is why are there disparities in the sentencing? I’ve never been in prison, ever. I served the required 25 flat years to come up for parole. I’ve stayed in positions where I accomplished goal after goal only to be given a set-off for 5 more years. I did not get a face to face interview with anyone. The rule is for me to have a face to face interview with a commissioner but I did not see anyone. To make matters more complicated, I gave the board a 80 pages parole package of degrees and accomplishments that were completely ignored. I received a set off in the mail like it was nothing. They claimed the nature of the crime was essentially double jeopardy and that I had shown continual criminal behavior. Wow, I’ve only had one major case in 25 years. Does that sound like continuous criminal behavior? That one case happened in 2008 for a small bag of cigarette tobacco which I was smoking. These are the facts.

The coupling of my lawyer and the D.A.

Initially, upon catching the murder case in 1995, my family and I were NEVER notified that the local hospital ruled that my sister’s cause of death was due to a heart condition. Blindly we entered my trial lawyers office in which he knew the cause of death. He also hid this information from my family and I. Upon entering his office, I started with my questioning: ‘Are you going to use the photos of my cut across my hand? Two photos were taken.’ My lawyer dropped his head and answered: ‘No, they were too blurry.’

911 tape
911 tape

I continued ‘What about the 911 call that shows that she was alive upon me walking out of the house?’ Whereupon he answered: ‘No, it was just a lot of screaming, no.’ ‘Well, what about the butcher’s knife that I got cut with?’ ‘What knife?’ ‘That knife.’ My mother pulled out the butcher’s knife that not only did the investigators fail to retrieve, so did my attorney. He quickly grabbed the knife and stashed it in his office desk. We have NEVER seen that knife again. By the way, he did not use the knife at trial.

The most mind boggling fact was he also agreed to hide all the hospital records that totally contradicted the entire case. I should have seen the coupling of my lawyer and the D.A. right then.


The amazing thing was in 2009 an attending nurse contacted me and woke me up about the true cause of death. I further discovered, through Dr. Plunkett and Dr. Stephens that I was innocent. Now 26 years later I’m still here …

My question is this 
  • If I just sit here and do my time and shut up, would I be wise to just do my time?
  • Should I simply never state my observation?
  • How can things change if no one opens up about getting railroaded into prison?
  • Is this complaining or an observation?

Derrick L. Griffin, 05-07-2021