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District attorney in Young Thug RICO case defends using rap lyrics in evidence

“Don’t confess to crimes on rap lyrics if you do not want them used,” Fanni Willis told press this week.

August 30, 2022
District attorney in Young Thug RICO case defends using rap lyrics in evidence Young Thug.   Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Fulton County district attorney Fanni Willis has confirmed that she will continue to use song lyrics in court, including the forthcoming trial of Young Thug, Gunna, and other members of the YSL collective. Willis spoke during an August 29 press conference in which she stated: "If you decide to admit your crimes over a beat, I’m gonna use it."

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Willis was asked if she is looking to demonize the Atlanta rap community, to which she responded “I’m not targeting anyone.” She went on, however, to say that people "do not get to commit crimes in my county and then decide to brag on it – which you do… for a form of intimidation, and to further the gain – and not be held responsible."

Earlier this month California legislature passed a bill limiting use of rap lyrics in trial while the state of New York is currently considering a similar bill. Willis acknowledged this movement in her press conference but remained firm in her stance, saying: "People can continue to be angry about it, [but] I have some legal advice: Don’t confess to crimes on rap lyrics if you do not want them used – or, at least, get out of my county."

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Young Thug and Gunna are under indictment as part of conspiracy to violate Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) charges. In total, 56 charges brought against 28 purported members of the alleged criminal street gang Young Slime Life — overlapping but not to be confused with the record label Young Stoner Life, according to state prosecutors. Both have been denied bond on multiple attempts. The trial is scheduled to begin on January 9, 2023.

District attorney in Young Thug RICO case defends using rap lyrics in evidence