The drug dealer Kenneth McGriff, who was convicted last year for killing two rivals, was sentenced to life in prison "without the possibility of release" in federal court yesterday. McGriff led a violent drug crew, the Supreme Team, in the 1980s and then became a hip-hop world fixture, working with Murder Inc. While prosecutors were unable to prove that McGriff laundered money through Murder Inc., they did try to convince jurors that he deserved death for hiring a hit man to kill Eric Smith and Troy Singleton in 2001. A few weeks ago, the judge in the case told the federal prosecutors not to pursue the death penalty, saying that in his opinion, "there is no chance in the world there would be a death penalty verdict in this case."
Only three of the twelve jurors thought McGriff should be executed. McGriff's brother apologized to Smith's mother and Singleton's aunt, syaing, "I just want to say I'm so sorry fo your loss; I'll keep you in my prayers." McGriff himself nodded at one of the NYPD detectives as he left the courtroom; McGriff's lawyer said, "We feel relieved to have gotten to death’s door and not had it open."
Here is an explanation of the Murder Inc. raid in 2003 from MTV. Some have said the character Nino Brown in the movie New Jack City is based on McGriff. The Smoking Gun listed a transcript that showed McGriff asking other rappers for financial help during his legal trials.