COURT REFORMATION: BANNING RAP LYRICS IN CRIMINAL TRIALS

Authors

  • Arnelle Perry

Abstract

Self-expression has been a human quality since the dawn of time. Yet, some have been persecuted simply for this expression. This article navigates through the cases of the State of New Jersey v Skinner and the case of Mac Phipps in order to demonstrate how the admission of rap lyrics into criminal trials is prejudicial. Black music has been criminalized since its origins and rap is no exception. Following the surveillance of rap over the years and the admission of lyrics into evidence when they were not relevant demonstrates that people associated with Rap tend to have fewer fair trials as the prosecution uses the lyrics to portray a negative narrative to the jury. The hope of this article is to provide information that will lead to more laws like the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act being passed in the United States, which will prevent prosecutors from submitting lyrical evidence that is not directly relevant to the trial.

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Published

2023-05-23