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
Date Written: June 9, 2021
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
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