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Thread: CA-Newsom Signs Law to Limit Use of Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Criminal Trials

  1. #1

    CA-Newsom Signs Law to Limit Use of Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Criminal Trials

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    Gavin Newsom Signs Law to Limit Use of Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Criminal Trials

    https://www.breitbart.com/entertainm...iminal-trials/

    JOEL B. POLLAK 2 Oct 2022

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), flanked by rappers and record producers, signed a bill Friday to limit the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials.

    In a statement, Newsom’s office touted the legislation, AB 2799, as “a first-in-the-nation bill that limits the use of creative expression … to protect against bias.” The bill was one of sixty bills that the governor signed that day, though he drew special attention to the rap bill, which was inspired by a recent racketeering prosecution of rappers in Atlanta.

    The Hill noted:

    The law, which Newson signed alongside rappers, record producers and record industry executives who were present virtually, is the first in the country to ensure someone’s “creative expression” is not used to “introduce stereotypes or active bias” against a defendant or be used as evidence in a trial against them.

    It also requires courts to determine if song lyrics are admissible as evidence and whether content should be linked to an alleged crime.

    This comes after Atlanta-based rappers Young Thug and Gunna were among two dozen people arrested earlier this year on charges of racketeering. The indictments against them reference lyrics from their hip-hop songs, and prosecutors allege Young Thug formed a street gang and promoted it through his music.

    The text of the legislation does not completely exclude rap lyrics, but creates a very high bar for their admission as evidence. It says:

    It is the intent of this Legislature to provide a framework by which courts can ensure that the use of an accused person’s creative expression will not be used to introduce stereotypes or activate bias against the defendant, nor as character or propensity evidence; and to recognize that the use of rap lyrics and other creative expression as circumstantial evidence of motive or intent is not a sufficient justification to overcome substantial evidence that the introduction of rap lyrics creates a substantial risk of unfair prejudice.

    Though focused on rap, the legislation also applies to other forms of “creative expression,” defined as “the expression or application of creativity or imagination in the production or arrangement of forms, sounds, words, movements, or symbols, including, but not limited to, music, dance, performance art, visual art, poetry, literature, film, and other such objects or media.”
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  3. #2
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  4. #3
    Another example of “creative expression”:

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  5. #4
    be used to introduce stereotypes or activate bias against the defendant, nor as character or propensity evidence; and to recognize that the use of rap lyrics and other creative expression as circumstantial evidence of motive or intent is not a sufficient justification to overcome substantial evidence that the introduction of rap lyrics creates a substantial risk of unfair prejudice.
    And here I thought these rappers got street cred based on how "real" they are.

    On the street: "I'm a cap yo ass fo' look at me wrong"

    In the courtroom: "My ethical qualifications surpass any capability of even imagining the exertion of aggressive force on another human being"
    Last edited by TheTexan; 10-02-2022 at 11:36 AM.
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  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    And here I thought these rappers got street cred based on how "real" they are.

    On the street: "I'm a cap yo ass fo' look at me wrong"

    In the courtroom: "My ethical qualifications surpass any capability of even imagining the exertion of aggressive force on another human being"
    It's complicated. Art is a reflection of society. Some rappers are involved in street gangs and gang warfare while they are making their music. Some rappers were previously involved in street gangs and gang warfare. Some rappers observed or were tangentially apart of street gangs and gang warfare, but not active participants. Some rappers pretend to be part of street gangs and gang warfare while they are making their music.

    I don't think that judges should always allow the lyrics of rappers to be used against them, but I don't see why they can't be used against them in some situations as well. Newsom certainly should not be banning it. I think the judge should use their discretion, and the jury, if they are exposed to the lyrics, should use their discretion as well.

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  7. #6
    Now you can rap about jaywalking legally in CA. You can't make this $#@! up.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/californi...114110939.html

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 69360 View Post
    Now you can rap about jaywalking legally in CA. You can't make this $#@! up.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/californi...114110939.html
    That's effectively the way it has always been. Police officers almost never ticket people for jay-walking unless they are doing so dangerously.

    The 'problem' with the new law is going to be that people will argue that they weren't doing so dangerously, even if they were, and the officer will have to prove that they were jay-walking, and doing so in a dangerous manner, in court. Previously, the officer didn't need to prove they were doing so dangerously, they just had to prove they were jay-walking. But they wouldn't enforce it unless they were doing it dangerously. At least not in my experience, or any that I've heard of.. except that one time in Arizona, I think the cops beat up a blond chick in Tempe or something.

    One problem I could see is if police officers used it as a justification to search somebody unlawfully, but I'm not sure they can even do that just based on somebody jay-walking.
    Last edited by dannno; 10-03-2022 at 11:25 AM.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc
    "You don't need a medical degree to spot obvious bullshit, that's actually a separate skill." -Scott Adams
    "When you are divided, and angry, and controlled, you target those 'different' from you, not those responsible [controllers]" -Q

    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."



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