Stacey Abrams Is “Deeply Concerned” About The Use Of Rap Lyrics In Criminal Cases Following Young Thug & Gunna Indictment
Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was recently asked her thoughts on the use of rap lyrics as evidence in regards to rappers Young Thug and Gunna’s May arrest.
As previously reported, the Atlanta rap stars were arrested in their hometown earlier this year along with over 20 associates on a number of Racketeering charges. Evidence presented by city prosecutors included lyrics from the rappers artistic catalog, despite New York recently passing law against this. Atlanta political leader Stacey Abrams was recently asked if she supports the use of lyrics in criminal cases during an interview, where she admitted to having concerns about the matter.
“I believe in the First Amendment. I cannot speak to the particulars of this case, but I do think it is a very dangerous precedent to use someone’s written word … as a proof point….I’ve published multiple novels and I know that language can be provocative.”
I asked @staceyabrams about Young Thug and Gunna
"As someone who believes very staunchly in the First amendment, I am deeply concerned about any movement towards using a person's word in their music or their writing as an indictment of who they are." @YahooNews pic.twitter.com/xTZ6v0fzLe
— Marquise Francis (@theMarquiseF) August 8, 2022
“I do not know enough about these particular cases having not been in the courtroom and having not read the pleadings….But I will say that… as someone who believes very staunchly in the First Amendment, I am deeply concerned about any movement towards using a person’s word and their music or their writing as an indictment of who they are and as a proof point without additional supports.”
Abrams joins a growing list of influential Americans speaking out against the use of rap lyrics as criminal evidence. Jay Z, Kelly Rowland, Meek Mill, and others celebrated a New York court win earlier this year, after the city passed legislation to significantly reduce prosecutors ability to use songs as evidence. Music exec Kevin Liles, a close friend of Young Thug, took the fight a step further to the federal level, working with others to draft law against it nationwide.
At this time, however, Atlanta DA Fani Willis has made no indications prosecutors will opt not to proceed with their evidence as planned. Young Thug – born Jeffrey Lamar Williams, 30, and Gunna – born Sergio Giovanni Kitchens, 29, remain behind bars after being denied bail and are reportedly set for trial January 2023.
Do you approve of Stacey Abrams’ stance on rap lyrics in court? Tell us in the comments section.