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Rap goes to court: when lyrics become evidence in a trial

Emmett Price

This week the Supreme Court of New Jersey is scheduled to hear final arguments in State v. Skinner, a case that could have a far-reaching impact on the criminal justice system.

The case reflects an alarming new trend in which lyrics by amateur rappers are used against them as evidence in criminal prosecutions.

Vonte Skinner, an admitted drug dealer and wannabe rapper, was arrested after a 2005 shooting and was found guilty in 2008 of attempted murder. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, largely on the basis of rap lyrics composed prior to the 2005 incident.

Read the full article at The Root →