Rap on Trial: How Courts Are Using Song Lyrics to Convict Young Black Men
The Walrus (18 May 2016)
8 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2017 Last revised: 21 Dec 2017
Date Written: May 18, 2016
In the US, rap is frequently on trial, even in death penalty cases. It also appears to be a growing trend in England. And so, I began to study the issue in Canada. I was able to document thirty-six cases of attempts by the Canadian criminal justice system to put rap on trial in a recently published article “R v. Campbell: Rethinking the Admissibility of Rap Lyrics in Criminal Cases” (available on SSRN at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2730123). This Walrus piece provides a summary of some of the Canadian cases and explores how our criminal justice system should respond.
Keywords: Rap on Trial, Canada, Anti-Black Racism, Systemic Racism, Policing, Evidence, Criminal Courts
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