Should a Rapper’s Lyrics Be Used as Evidence in the Court of Law? [Video]

Should Vonte Skinnerr’s Lyrics Be Used as Evidence in the Court of Law?Rapper seeks to appeal his case after his lyrics help put him behind bars. Should a rapper’s lyrics be used in the court of law? The jury is still out on that, but in the case with Vonte Skinner this is just what happened. Skinner’s murder case weighed primarily on two eyewitnesses when his rap lyrics entered the trial. Although the testimony of the eyewitnesses changed several times his lyrics were strong enough to persuade the jury.

Many in the music industry have said that rap is an art and the lyrics are just words. Others feel the power of words along with the responsibility that should accompany using them has been lost. As a society we tend to hide behind the power of free speech but have constantly displayed how irresponsible our culture has become when speaking freely.

This aspiring rapper’s lyrics did not mention anything about the crime in question or the victims. The actual words were written months and even years before the shooting occurred. The prosecuting team introduced them near the trial’s end to demonstrate Skinner’s motive and intent to commit violent acts such as murder.Should A Rapper’s Lyrics Be Used as Evidence in the Court of Law?

This case has been the center of the debate on whether or not rap lyrics should be allowed as evidence in criminal trials. Critics say argue that lyrics are just music and playing rap songs or reading the musician’s lyrics in trials unfairly cause a jury to become prejudice. They maintain that it is just a musical art form and should not be used as evidence against the artist. Law enforcement and much of the judicial system feel a suspect’s lyrics can help establish intent, motive and even confessions. They do not buy the story that the lyrics are fictional in all cases.

In 2005 Skinner had become a small-time drug dealer when he was charged with attempted murder for shooting a fellow dealer named Lamont Peterson. Skinner admitted he was present when Peterson was shot but did not pull the trigger and does not know who did. He said he was there to buy drugs from Peterson.

Before Skinner was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison Amar Dean, Skinner’s younger brother, said he was in the courtroom when the lyrics were read out loud to the jury.

Two to your helmet and four slugs drillin’ your cheek to blow your face off and leave your brain caved in the street…

Dean said faced immediately started frowning and their body language was speaking volumes. Even though the lyrics had nothing to do with the case he could see that a lot of their faces were in shock as if they were thinking, “Whoa, did he say that? Did he do that?” Skinner challenged the value of the rap lyrics as evidence versus its prejudicial effect on his trial.

In 2012, the New Jersey Appellate Court said the lyrics should not have been admitted because they were not written near the time of shooting. The judges stated they have “significant doubt on whether the jurors would have found Skinner guilty if they had not been required to listen to the extended reading of the highly prejudicial and disturbing lyrics.” As a result the rapper’s conviction was overturned. Now it is up to the New Jersey Supreme Court to decide whether Skinner should get a new trial.

Vonte Skinner is seeking to appeal his case after his lyrics help put him behind bars. The rapper’s murder case depended heavily on two eyewitnesses when his rap lyrics became evidence against him. Although the testimony of the eyewitnesses changed several times it is believed that his lyrics were strong enough to persuade the jury. Reportedly, in Skinner’s case he was identified by the victim as the shooter but the question remains, should a rapper’s lyrics be used as evidence in the court of law?

Opinion by: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)

Sources:

NJ.com
PBS
Huffington Post

3 Responses to "Should a Rapper’s Lyrics Be Used as Evidence in the Court of Law? [Video]"

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  2. Emmanuel Love   March 9, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Hey, how’s it going?

    Did you hear that the powers that run this world want to put a RFID microchip in our body? It will contain not only our bank accounts but our personal information, making us total slaves to the elite. This will cause us to lose even more of our privacy.

    Did you know that this RFID microchip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18?

    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. It’s amazing that the Bible foretold a cashless society!

    Did you also hear that the Jewish people are in the process of bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible by the prophet Daniel, Jesus, and Apostle Paul? They deny Jesus as their Messiah and say their Messiah will be revealed to rule the whole world under a one world religion. They are not even hiding this information, but are actually promoting it. You can view videos about this on YouTube.

    When Donald Trump made Jerusalem captial of Israel in late December 2017, the Jewish people said this was a big step for them to build this Third Temple. They even printed a Temple coin with president Trump’s face on the front with king Cyrus'(the man who built the Second Temple in the Bible) face behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the Third Temple. They are selling these coins to raise money to build the Temple.

    People have been saying for many years that the end is near, but we needed not only the Third Temple, but also the technology for there to be a cashless society for the Mark of the Beast to be a reality.

    There is much more to know, please visit http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM to see all the proof!

    GOD BLESS, JESUS LOVES YOU!

    Reply
  3. Emmanuel Love   March 9, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Hey, how’s it going?

    Did you hear that the powers that run this world want to put a RFID microchip in our body? It will contain not only our bank accounts but our personal information, making us total slaves to the elite. This will cause us to lose even more of our privacy.

    Did you know that this RFID microchip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18?

    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. It’s amazing that the Bible foretold a cashless society!

    Did you also hear that the Jewish people are in the process of bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible by the prophet Daniel, Jesus, and Apostle Paul? They deny Jesus as their Messiah and say their Messiah will be revealed to rule the whole world under a one world religion. They are not even hiding this information, but are actually promoting it. You can view videos about this on YouTube.

    When Donald Trump made Jerusalem captial of Israel in late December 2017, the Jewish people said this was a big step for them to build this Third Temple. They even printed a Temple coin with president Trump’s face on the front with king Cyrus'(the man who built the Second Temple in the Bible) face behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the Third Temple. They are selling these coins to raise money to build the Temple.

    People have been saying for many years that the end is near, but we needed not only the Third Temple, but also the technology for there to be a cashless society for the Mark of the Beast to be a reality.

    There is much more to know, please visit http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM to see all the proof!

    GOD BLESS, JESUS LOVES YOU!

    Reply

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