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Ian McColgin
02-12-2016, 10:22 AM
[IMc - I'm all for humane corrections and educational opportunities in prison. Like writing the great prison novel. But it looks like this guy really needs to learn how to explain how there might be redemptive aspects to his fiction.]

Throw the book at Darryl ‘God’ Whiting

By Adrian Walker GLOBE COLUMNIST FEBRUARY 12, 2016

In his 2013 debut as a jailhouse novelist, drug kingpin Darryl “God” Whiting followed a rule preached by creative writing teachers everywhere: Write what you know.

He did, and that decision is costing him dearly, as the events in federal court Thursday showed.

After 25 years in federal prison, the onetime overlord of the Orchard Park housing development was in court seeking a reduction in his life sentence.

But as he stood before Judge Patti B. Saris, it was readily apparent that Whiting faced a major hurdle: Saris had read his novel. The one where he describes a guy leaving prison and then torturing and killing people who testified against him. The one in which he discussed those future victims by name — real names, of real people in Boston.

Saris described sitting with Whiting’s fiction on one side of her and his pre-sentencing report on the other, matching up the names. It was easy to do, she said. “That worries me,” the judge said.

The potential release of Whiting worries a lot of people who remember his reign of terror in the development now known as Orchard Gardens. He commanded an army of at least 100 drug dealers and ruled a whole neighborhood through fear and intimidation. Women were frequent targets — or, to quote prosecutor Nathaniel Mendell, “He targeted female addicts.”

It’s often jarring to see major criminals years after their misdeeds, and Whiting was no exception. At 61, he looks fit and trim, but not especially menacing. He had a significant support team in the courtroom, led by his son, Darryl Jr., and a co-defendant, John James, who was freed after 10 years behind bars.

Whiting spoke on his own behalf. That might not have been a good idea. He chuckled as he insisted that he would never really harm the two women he describes torturing in his fiction, drawing an icy stare from Saris. The women in question, who were not named in court for their safety, have submitted statements in support of Whiting’s release. Whiting insisted that he had no plans to hurt anyone. He said he wants to work with youth, if he is released.

Hundreds of drug dealers who got stiff sentences in the 1990s are now eligible for reduced sentences, Whiting among them.

Few would dispute that many drug dealers who have been imprisoned for two decades or more were sentenced too harshly; indeed, it’s an issue that has drawn bipartisan agreement. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most of them were black and brown, either.

But the rationale that many of those criminals were nonviolent offenders doesn’t apply to Whiting. He wasn’t some garden-variety drug dealer swept up in a politically motivated drug war. He was a crime lord who has now spent years plotting revenge on the “snitches” who put him away.

Who in their right mind would take his word that his book is only fiction, that he was only kidding? Who would risk anyone’s life on that? Of course Darryl Whiting shouldn’t be released from prison.

I was surprised that Whiting has supporters, but I shouldn’t have been. So many lives were ruined by the War on Drugs that the sentiment for second chances runs deep in the black community. And of course, Whiting was a legendary charismatic figure. So some perfectly decent people want to believe he has changed, that he could be some kind of youth counselor.

I can’t buy it. I don’t know Whiting personally, but I know what he did. He laid waste to countless lives with a venom and cruelty that is hard to fathom even years later. Now he wants the mercy he callously denied so many others. Putting Whiting away forever is as just as sentencing gets.

I’ll be saving my sympathy for the people who give thanks every day that Darryl Whiting can’t get to them.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/02/11/darryl-whiting-says-changed-but-that-not-what-his-book-says/iQQ83xFT9M4AdfiuCFQxsL/story.html

S.V. Airlie
02-12-2016, 10:36 AM
Oooops!

CWSmith
02-12-2016, 10:39 AM
A friend of mine was at one time the youngest agent in the FBI. He told me that criminals aren't smart and the myth of the criminal mastermind doesn't exist. Clearly, this fellow provides evidence of that fact.

S.V. Airlie
02-12-2016, 10:41 AM
A friend of mine was at one time the youngest agent in the FBI. He told me that criminals aren't smart and the myth of the criminal mastermind doesn't exist. Clearly, this fellow provides evidence of that fact.Well, that's why sooo many are in jail, they're not smart.

Dave Hadfield
02-12-2016, 10:45 AM
How long will it take him to figure it all out, and write a second novel full or remorse and Good Deeds?

I'll bet he is motivated now.

Ian McColgin
02-12-2016, 10:55 AM
It's a comforting conceit that criminals are dumb. By and large the dumb ones are caught. The smart ones are not and often law enforcement doesn't even know there was a crime.

When writing is about sharing insight and not just about personal therapy, it can lead to some great literature, whether that's just one book like Jack Abbott's or a body of work like Jean Genet's. In both those cases, brilliant writing by people who remain despicable. Sometimes the good, the true and the beautiful just go their separate ways.

I don't know about Whiting. It does not sound from Walker's account as if he was using his writing to get the more horrible parts of his being up to the surface to confront and deal with them.

Osborne Russell
02-12-2016, 12:17 PM
Of course Darryl Whiting shouldn’t be released from prison.

Apparently there are limits to free speech.

Just kidding. Free speech is not involved. He's not being punished for speaking. He asked for his sentence to be reduced, and it was denied. He's been free all along to say what he said, write what he wrote; and he still is.

isla
02-12-2016, 12:59 PM
Apparently there are limits to free speech.

Just kidding. Free speech is not involved. He's not being punished for speaking. He asked for his sentence to be reduced, and it was denied. He's been free all along to say what he said, write what he wrote; and he still is.

But will his book be readily available in bookshops, libraries, schools and colleges across the country?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
02-12-2016, 01:02 PM
Kind Hearts And Coronets?

Dan McCosh
02-12-2016, 04:01 PM
Hitler wrote Mien Kampf in jail.

Greg Nolan
02-12-2016, 05:04 PM
There are limits on the right of free speech, including "Son of Sam" laws. Here is the Federal version:

Citation: 18 U.S.C.S. § 3681 (Lexis 2000)
History: Enacted in 1984. TITLE 18. CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART II. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 232A. SPECIAL FORFEITURE OF COLLATERAL PROFITS OF CRIME
18 USCS § 3681 (2000)
§ 3681. Order of special forfeiture
(a) Upon the motion of the United States attorney made at any time after conviction of a defendant for an offense under section 794 of this title or for an offense against the United States resulting in physical harm to an individual, and after notice to any interested party, the court shall, if the court determines that the interest of justice or an order of restitution under this title so requires, order such defendant to forfeit all or any part of proceeds received or to be received by that defendant, or a transferee of that defendant, from a contract relating to a depiction of such crime in a movie, book, newspaper, magazine, radio or television production, or live entertainment of any kind, or an expression of that defendant’s thoughts, opinions, or emotions regarding such crime.

So he can write what he want's, but making money from writing about his crime is a different matter.

Ian McColgin
02-12-2016, 05:12 PM
Yeah. If the book is published and meets any good sales, Whiting does not get to keep any money. But that's no barrier on his thinking, writing or publishing freely. So whisky tango foxtrot.

Canoeyawl
02-12-2016, 11:19 PM
So, it's not The Count of Monte Christo then

Ian McColgin
02-12-2016, 11:26 PM
No innocent man imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. The question is whether on believes that he's rehabilitated over the decades of imprisonment or not. Whether the book he wrote is evidence of rehabilitation or of the contrary.

Osborne Russell
02-13-2016, 08:42 PM
But will his book be readily available in bookshops, libraries, schools and colleges across the country?

Good question. I don't see any justification for banning it, per se, based on content. But they have this thing where you can't make money in prison, so there might be difficulty publishing it. Maybe you could set up a non-profit organization.