Breaking News
More () »

Community divided over Rayful Edmond re-sentencing

At the last community hearing to discuss Edmond's re-sentencing, members of the public debated whether the drug kingpin should be released from prison early.

WASHINGTON — The name of notorious cocaine dealer Rayful Edmond is often enough to get a strong reaction from any Washingtonian, and it was no different at the fourth and last community hearing held Saturday on whether Edmond should be released from prison early, after being locked up for close to 30 years. 

"Through cocaine many lives have been lost, remember Marion Barry," Robert Vinson Brannum, ANC Commissioner for Ward 5, said. "Too many lives have destroyed, remember Jim Vance.

"He was a part of an organized crime family," longtime D.C. resident Elizabeth Hall, said. "They murdered and slaughtered people. They decimated this city."

The federal government has asked a judge to re-sentence Edmond after he cooperated with investigators, which has reportedly resulted in the arrests of dozens of other drug dealers. 

As part of that process, the judge has asked to hear from those who were impacted by Edmond's actions. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office has not yet submitted its recommendation for the reduced sentence. 

RELATED: Do you want to see drug boss Rayful Edmond released? Make your opinion heard

On Saturday D.C.'s Attorney General Karl Racine asked Washingtonians to answer two questions:

Do you believe the court should grant the United States's motion and reduce the sentence of Rayful Edmond? And if Mr. Edmond's sentence is reduced and he is ultimately released, would you support his returning to the District?

The crowd gathered was divided, with some arguing people deserve second chances. 

"Let him come and redeem himself here in some capacity so that these youngsters can look at him and say, 'Hey, at 23 he went to jail for 30 years,'" one D.C. resident, said.

But others were emphatic in their belief that Edmond did too much harm for that. 

"Mr. Edmond should not only not receive an early release, he should not be allowed near any young people," Vinson Brannum, said.

"Telling on somebody, telling somebody that somebody did something to save your own butt is not rehabilitation," Hall said.

Members of the community still have until July 12 to submit their opinions to the Attorney General. They can do so: online or by calling (202) 727- 3400 to speak with a representative from the Attorney General's Office. 

Or, members of the  community can send a letter to the Office of the Attorney General, ATTN: Rayful Edmond Case, 441 4th Street NW, Suite 1100 South, Washington, D.C. 20001

According to the Attorney General's Office, a brief with the public's views will then be submitted to the judge on August 30. A court hearing will be held in October.

RELATED: Judge requests community weigh-in on early release of DC crack kingpin Rayful Edmond

Before You Leave, Check This Out