Rap on Trial: A Legal Guide for Attorneys

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2021-35

98 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2021 Last revised: 14 Jun 2021

See all articles by Jack I. Lerner

Jack I. Lerner

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Charis E. Kubrin

University of California, Irvine; University of California, Irvine

Date Written: June 9, 2021

Abstract

This legal guide serves as a comprehensive resource for attorneys dealing with rap lyrics introduced in any stage of criminal proceedings – from initial discovery to trial to sentencing. It includes explanations of common rap conventions that may be unfamiliar to lawyers and jurors, an overview of empirical research on rap and bias, legal grounds for evidentiary and First Amendment challenges to admitting lyrics into a trial, suggestions for jury selection, and more. Along with the guide, we provide a collection of cases involving rap lyrics and a set of relevant court briefs.

Keywords: rap, crime, law, music, social justice, constitutional rights, freedom of speech, defense attorney

Suggested Citation

Lerner, Jack I. and Kubrin, Charis, Rap on Trial: A Legal Guide for Attorneys (June 9, 2021). UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2021-35, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3863772 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3863772

Jack I. Lerner

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-7684 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uci.edu/faculty/full-time/lerner/

Charis Kubrin (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Department of Criminiology, Law and Society
Social Ecology II, Rm 3379
Irvine, CA 62697-3125
United States

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Department of Criminiology, Law and Society
Social Ecology II, Rm 3379
Irvine, CA 62697-3125
United States

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