In a major win for prosecutors in the YSL RICO trial on Thursday, Judge Ural Glanville decided to allow rap lyrics to be used as evidence.
Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was inside the courtroom when the judge’s decision was made.
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Defense attorneys argued for several hours trying to convince the judge that by using these lyrics at trial, would not only violate their clients’ First Amendment rights but it would also unfairly prejudice the jury. But the judge did not see it that way.
Seiden spoke with Atlanta rapper Pastor Troy shortly after Glanville’s decision.
“You have to be real careful about what you’re saying in your lyrics,” Pastor Troy said. “A lot of these rappers don’t have nothing to worry about because they be lying anyway. But if you do have any situations that may be able to come up in court, don’t say nothing in your song that you wouldn’t want to say in front of the judge.”
Glanville conditionally admitted 17 sets of rap lyrics that prosecutors can use as evidence in the gang trial against Young Thug and his alleged associates. The judge agreed that prosecutors have to lay a foundation in order to use them.
Glanville’s ruling comes after hours of arguments from both sides on Wednesday.
On one side, Young Thug’s attorney Brian Steel argued that the rapper’s lyrics are art.
″They’re targeting the right to free speech,” said Steel.
But prosecutors argued that the lyrics are much more.
“Your honor, someone can look at that indictment and say one thing’s for sure, that’s not fantasy, people are dead and murdered and a gang exist,” said Mike Carlson, prosecutor.
As of Nov. 8 there are only 6 defendants remaining:
Jeffrey Williams aka YOUNG THUG — RICO charges, participation in criminal street gang activity
Deamonte Kendrick aka YAK GOTTI — RICO charges and murder.
Shannon Stillwell aka Shannon Jackson aka SB — RICO charges, murder, participation in a criminal street gang, gun charges
Rodalius Ryan aka LIL ROD — RICO charges
Quamarvious Nichols — RICO charges, murder, participation in criminal street gang activity and gun charges.
Marquavius Huey aka QUA — RICO charges, armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, hijacking a motor vehicle in the first degree, participation in a criminal street gang, possession of a telecommunication device by an incarcerated individual and gun charges.
Opening statements are slated to start on Nov. 27.
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