The Criminalization of Rap

Reporting San Diego


April 13, 2015 (San Diego) As we sat in the courtroom during the Brandon Duncan hearing, when charges were dropped, we were dumbfounded. We heard the prosecution try to use the music from a rap album, released a year before the actual murders happened, that somehow benefited from a murder Duncan had nothing to do. For that matter he denied having any knowledge of the murders. So we had to ask? How common is this? Surely this not a normal practice. To our shock and dismay we found out that using rap lyrics is a normal practice both district attorneys and U.S. District Attorneys.

In a manual for local prosecutors we read:

Perhaps the most crucial element of a successful prosecution is introducing the jury to the real defendant. Invariably, by the time the jury sees the defendant at trial, his hair has grown out to a normal length…

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