Can an ambiguous California law created in 2000 turn rap lyrics into evidence for conviction?
Recently an African American rapper and Southern California resident is currently behind bars awaiting trial. The rapper in question, Brandon Duncan a.k.a. Tiny Doo, is facing life in prison not for rape, drug trafficking, or murder, but for the lyrical content of his latest album No Safety. Duncan, along with 14 other gang members are currently in jail due to a series of attempted murders in April of 2013. Duncan has not been linked to the shootings. If he is not a suspect, then why is he currently facing the possibility of life in prison? Duncan is the first victim of a California law passed in 2000 that states gang members can be prosecuted if they somehow “benefit” from crimes committed by other gang members. That’s right, Duncan is now being charged with conspiracy because he is a known gang member who raps about that lifestyle and that alone is enough to try to put him away for the rest of his life. Despite the fact that there are no specific references to the April 2013 shootings and no lyrics provoking listeners to go commit acts of violence, Tiny Doo is still able to be held in jail awaiting trial alongside fellow gang members who are actual shooting suspects. PLEASE READ THE FULL ARTICLE @ BLACK YOUTH PROJECT