Nearly a full year after he was convicted on multiple counts that include drug trafficking racketeering, and three murders, Ra Diggs was officially sentenced in court Thursday (April 2). Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis gave him 12 life terms, plus 105 years, reports the New York Times.
The Brooklyn rapper led a sector of the Bloods gang known as the Murderous Mad Dawgs and running a drug operation out of two Brooklyn housing projects, prosecutors said. His lyrics and music videos were used to help prove gang ties and criminal acts during the trial, but Diggs disagrees with the way he’s been portrayed by the legal system.
“You guys sit here and continue to paint this picture that I’m the devil incarnate, the scourge of righteousness — it’s all crap,” he stated at the sentencing. “Even the most dim prosecutor could have secured a conviction under this atmosphere of guilt they built. They did all but point a big, red arrow of 'guilty' up on that projection screen.”
Judge Garaufis scolded him in response. “You have shown a complete lack of remorse for your abhorrent conduct,” he said. “Even today, in this courtroom, you give answers that show you are clueless about the misery you have inflicted on other people and you are reconstructing through some fantastic thoughts what has happened in this case.”
Prosecutors noted that Diggs doesn't follow the rules behind bars, and argued that the extended sentence makes it less likely for him to negatively effect his community. “I really don’t think there’s a good chance Mr. Herron will stop committing crime in prison,” said U.S. attorney Shreve Ariail.
Diggs, born Ronald Herron, was very vocal at his sentencing. He called the life terms a violation of the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery. “As you sit here, you denigrate me like I’m some sort of societal pestilence. What have you contributed to my community?” he asked.
The judge hit back with admonishment. “You’re obviously an intelligent person, and an articulate person. You could have done something different. Instead you chose to lead a criminal organization and commit violent robbery and murder.”
Diggs was previously released from prison in 2007, after serving six years on drug charges.
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(Photo: Ra Diggs via Facebook)