Remember, the main criminal directive says, “Get over as many people as possible. Get your way with crime as often as you can! Listen, even confess, as long as you lie and blame it, and make a deal. enough to reduce the burden of justly deserved consequences. “

I saw this directive act in a recent Durham (NC) court case. Police had charged Calvin Nicholson with shooting and killing 18-year-old Todd Antonio Douglas about three years ago. In a local newspaper account of the court testimony of the director of the Durham Police Department’s homicide squad, we read the following: “First degree murder defendant Calvin Nicholson appeared to be ‘talkative, very sincere and repentant ‘when he confessed nearly three years ago to fatally shooting another man as part of an alleged gang initiation ritual, the Durham Police Department’s homicide squad chief testified on Thursday (March 20, 2008). join, according to Sgt. Jack Cates. Quoting Nicholson, Cates said the order to do “work” came from a man named Justin Hatch, a co-defendant in the homicide who will be tried later. Such orders are common in the arena of Mafias, Cates added. The sergeant testified that, in his experience, gang “work” includes robberies, rapes, assaults and even murders. The more serious the crimes people commit, the more high can rise in the hierarchy of a gang, added Cates. “

Nicholson was only 16 when he killed Douglas.

I have no doubt that what Detective Cates said in court, based on Nicholson’s confession, is the confessed killer’s version of the “truth”. Remember, however, that this story, like Nicholson’s account, is designed to reduce as much as possible the well-deserved consequences of your crime. According to Nicholson’s alleged confession, he shot Douglas twice, but others in the car were also shooting in the 18-year-old’s direction. So, according to the theory of the defense attorney in this case, someone else’s bullet could have and probably did. In his confession, Nicholson told police: “I don’t know if I hit him or not.”

Do you see the main directive? The guilt changed. He didn’t want to kill Douglas. The Bloods, an alleged street gang, initiated the murder by establishing this crime as one of their rites of passage. In this specific murder, Nicholson attempted to hand over responsibility for himself to an alleged gang leader, Justin Hatch, who, according to the defendant in this case, handed Nicholson a high-powered pistol and said, “Time to shoot. “. That part of Nicholson’s version of this murderous scenario probably happened more or less as he described it, although I have questions about who provided the gun and who said, “Time to shoot.”

Now here comes the lie, the heart and core of Nicholson’s strategy to reduce the burden of responsibility and walk away with a slightly lighter sentence than the mandatory life in prison he faced if convicted of the first-degree murder charge. In his confession to the Durham police, Nicholson is quoted as saying: “The reason I shot him [Douglas] It was because I thought I wanted to join the gang. When I realized that this was not the case, it was too late. . . I’m really sorry for what I did and I know I don’t want to be a gang member. “How convenient! According to Nicholson, his desire to be a” Blood “ended when a young man’s life leaked away from gunshot wounds. What didn’t that epiphany happen before Nicholson started shooting? Here’s the key question that reveals Nicholson’s lie: How were the Bloods able to initiate multiple people into the gang when no one knew for sure who fired the fatal shot, whether to kill? to someone was the price? of initiation?

What a convenient epiphany! I’ve had them myself! One in particular that occurred in the early fall of 1959 stuck with me indelibly. That particular Sunday, I was relaxing at Clementine’s house. Clementine, a beautiful young woman from Durham, was my girlfriend. Two cohorts of criminals arrived and declared that they had a lot of good things hidden from a robbery on Saturday night. They wanted me to help them sell it. They also wanted me to go help them get him out of hiding, because, as they said, it was too much for the two of them. In a valiant but ineffective effort to save me from myself, Clem begged me not to leave, not to leave her. “This won’t take long,” I stated. “Let me get this money and then I’ll get back to you.” Incorrect! I never came back.

Wait a minute, I think now, not then, if the stolen property is too much for you two to carry on Sunday, how did you hide it on Saturday night? Why didn’t I ask that question? Because crime is stupid and the more you do it, the stupider you get. Why didn’t Nicholson ask Hatch, “Why is killing an innocent person the price of joining this gang? What if I’m not willing to pay that price? Same answer! Crime is stupid. Nicholson, like me in the late 1950s, had committed a crime for so long that he, like me then, teeters on the brink of incurable stupidity.

Now my epiphany! On the way back to the house, my two henchmen in crime decided to rob a drunkard. A woman called the police. We ran. He needed to get back to Hayti, to the safety of Clem’s house. As I ran down a path between some houses towards South Roxboro Street, the cold words of a Durham police officer stopped me in my tracks: “Bring your nigga to .. On the ground ni … R, or we’ll blow you away. I was armed. I had two pistols. But as I felt myself getting closer and closer to the ground, I said to myself, “I wish I had never gone and picked up any of these hot s. . . Also, if I were as bad as I claimed to be, I would pull out both my pistols and sink in a blaze of glory. “What an epiphany!

At the police station, I declared as sincerely as possible that none of this was my fault. I had met these two guys that I knew casually and they had asked me to help them carry some things. I had no idea, based on what I told the police, that the things had been stolen. No, I had nothing to do with trying to rob the old man. In fact, I tried to dissuade them. It was then that I realized I had made a mistake and tried to run home.

You see, I know that Nicholson was lying about being sorry or sorry for killing Douglas. I know he was lying about not wanting to be part of a gang anymore. You see, this is what is not in his confession or not revealed in his stoic demeanor in court: 1) a renunciation of his criminal mindset, lifestyle and cohorts, 2) an acceptance of full responsibility for his current circumstances. , 3) a recognition that if he always hopes to become a contributing member of society, he must change his thinking and behavior.

The so-called remorse is simply not enough! A young man has died! A mother continues to suffer! We have all been ripped off of any contribution Douglas might have made to his time. As God told Cain, the first murderer: “A whole bloodline of unborn children cry out for justice.”

Here’s the bad news! Nicholson’s ploy worked! He was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison. Imagine that! An 18-year-old was brutally murdered, and his convicted murderer will be 29 when he is released from prison in November 2017. All we can do now is hope that one day Nicholson will realize that even with having to spend 12 Years in prison, he still got a better end to this sorry deal than Douglas.

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