California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs bill restricting use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal cases




  • In US
  • 2022-10-01 02:00:30Z
  • By Fox News

California on Friday enacted a new law limiting prosecutors from using rap lyrics as evidence against criminal defendants.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a series of bills, including AB 2799, which requires a pre-trial hearing to determine if hip-hop lyrics are relevant to a case. The bill was approved by state lawmakers in August.

"For too long, prosecutors in California have used rap lyrics as a convenient way to inject racial bias and confusion into the criminal justice process," Dina LaPolt, entertainment attorney and co-founder of Songwriters of North America, told Variety in a statement. "This legislation sets up important guardrails that will help courts hold prosecutors accountable and prevent them from criminalizing Black and Brown artistic expression. Thank you, Gov Newsom, for setting the standard. We hope Congress will pass similar legislation, as this is a nationwide problem."

PNB ROCK SHOOTING: FATHER, TEENAGE SON CHARGED WITH MURDER IN RAPPER'S KILLING

Democrat Gov.
Democrat Gov.  

Assembly member Reginald Jones-Sawyer Sr. championed the bill, saying it protects rap artists, who are mostly Black and Latino.

"Their stage name might be Little Murder, but that doesn't mean they're a murderer," Jones-Sawyer previously stated, Fox San Francisco reported. "We found that the lyrics that they were using in the court to prosecute someone, those weren't even that person's lyrics. It was written by someone else. The music was written by someone else, and they were just performing it."

The bill came amid the prosecution of Jeffrey Williams, better known as Young Thug, and Sergio Kitchens, known as the rapper Gunna. The two high-profile rappers were arrested in Atlanta on gang charges and their lyrics were quoted in an indictment.

Supporters of the legislation said there is a difference between rap lyrics and what an artist does in real life.

Rappers Gunna and Young Thug had their rap lyrics used against them when they were arrested on gang charges in an ongoing trial.
Rappers Gunna and Young Thug had their rap lyrics used against them when they were arrested on gang charges in an ongoing trial.  

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

"This is about justice. This is about making sure that the court system looks at that individual and not what people think about that individual," said Jones-Sawyer.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Making EVs without China
Making EVs without China's supply chain is hard, but not impossible - 3 supply chain experts outline a strategy

Automaker GMC shows off its Hummer EVs at a plant in Detroit. Nic Antaya/Getty ImagesTwo electrifying moves in recent weeks have the potential to ignite...

DOJ: Jailed Jan. 6 rioter tried to sell mob footage to Pelosi
DOJ: Jailed Jan. 6 rioter tried to sell mob footage to Pelosi's documentarian daughter
  • US
  • 2022-12-03 13:20:39Z

In a sentencing memo, the Justice Department urges U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich to impose a 63-month jail sentence for Ronald Sandlin.

Roundup: Murder charges dropped in Santa Ynez case, more news
Roundup: Murder charges dropped in Santa Ynez case, more news
  • US
  • 2022-12-03 01:04:26Z

Santa Barbara County prosecutors dismiss murder case that involved regional manhunt, arrest in fatal Camarillo OD, beach contamination warning.

Former chief of staff sues L.A. D.A. George Gascón for retaliation
Former chief of staff sues L.A. D.A. George Gascón for retaliation
  • US
  • 2022-12-02 23:16:49Z

Victoria Adams, the highest-ranking official from Jackie Lacey's administration to be brought into Dist. Atty. George Gascón's inner circle, is suing her...

Clinton Thompson trial for 2012 killing delayed
Clinton Thompson trial for 2012 killing delayed
  • US
  • 2022-12-02 20:44:17Z

The trial date for a Wichita Falls man accused of murdering Rocky Buckley 10 years ago has been delayed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US