Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Bill Prohibiting Prosecutors From Using Rap Lyrics As Evidence In California
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that prevents prosecutors from using rap lyrics as evidence in the state of California. RELATED STORIES: New York Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Prevent Prosecutors From Using Rap Lyrics As Evidence The Assembly Bill 2799 was signed Friday during an online forum involving Meek Mill, Killer Mike, Tyga, YG, … Continue reading Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Bill Prohibiting Prosecutors From Using Rap Lyrics As evidence in the state of California.
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill into law that could best be described as pro-crime.
Last week, Newsom signed the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act, which limits how the legal system can use artists' lyrics against them as evidence in criminal cases. Prosecutors will have to show that the lyrics were written around the time of the crime, explain how they depict "factual details" about the crime that aren't already public, and prove they have similarities to the crime.
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs bill limiting the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal proceedings
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Friday that limits the use of rap lyrics in criminal court cases in the state. The law requires “a court, in a criminal proceeding where a party seeks to admit as evidence a form of creative expression, to consider specified factors when balancing the probative value of that evidence against the substantial danger of undue prejudice.
The bill passed unanimously in the California State Assembly and Senate. It also had approval from rappers such as Meek Mill, Killer Mike, YG, Ty Dolla $ign, Too Short, E-40, and Tyga, who attended the virtual signing ceremony.
“Artists of all kinds should be able to create without the fear of unfair and prejudicial prosecution,” Newsom said at the signing ceremony. “California’s culture and entertainment industry set trends around the world, and it’s fitting that our state is taking a nation-leading role to protect creative expression and ensure that artists are not criminalized under biased policies.”
While Newsom may argue that it’s a racial justice issue, it’s not. It's a bad idea that serves to protect criminals.
People have a right to free expression in the United States, but that does not absolve people of consequences for their words and actions. If someone doesn’t want to be convicted of murder based on rap lyrics, they shouldn’t rap about murdering people.
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For example, rapper Bobby Shmurda's rap lyrics should have been a cause for concern. He served more than six years in prison for conspiracy to murder, possessing illegal weapons, and reckless endangerment.
In his hit song "Hot N****," Shmurda rapped about himself and others shooting people, dealing crack cocaine, and owning illegal firearms in New York. He also admitted to an association with a criminal enterprise called GS9, and members of this organization appeared in the music video.
In what instance does it make sense for a state to pass laws protecting rappers such as Shmurda over the public? The point of incarceration is to prevent dangerous people from committing crimes against the public and to deter crime with the threat of legal penalties.
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And earlier this year, Young Thug was arrested in Atlanta on gang-related charges. He co-founded a violent Atlanta street gang called YSL. With lyrics such as "I never killed anybody (Body). But I got something to do with that body (Somethin', just shh)," it's no surprise that he allegedly rented a car used in the killing of a rival gang member.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI estimates violent crime rates didn’t increase substantially last year, though they remained above pre-pandemic levels, according to annual crime data. But the report presents an incomplete picture, in part because it doesn’t include some of the nation’s largest police departments. Violent and property crime generally remained consistent between 2020 and 2021, with a slight decrease in the overall violent crime rate and a 4.3% uptick in the murder rate, both of which are not considered statistically significant, the analysis found. That suggests an improvement over 2020, when the murder rate in the U.S.
California already has a serious crime problem. The state shouldn’t make it easier to protect killers and poison pushers. Instead, it should give law enforcement the tools it needs to use evidence to prevent such crimes from happening in the future. Doing so would save lives. Instead, California is becoming more dangerous.
Tom Joyce (@TomJoyceSports) is a political reporter for the New Boston Post in Massachusetts.
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Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Blog Contributors, Crime, Gavin Newsom, Music, California
Original Author: Tom Joyce
Original Location: Now, in California, you can probably rap about crime without getting caught
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