Lawmakers Submit Bill to Restrict Prosecutors’ Use of Rap Words as Evidence

Two New York lawmakers had begun work on a bill because they wanted to prevent prosecutors from using the rappers’ words as evidence against them in the courtroom. The deputies, who finalized their bills, finally made their proposals. Rap lyrics of singers are sought to be used in many cases. 

On Wednesday, November 17, Senators Brad Hoylman and Jamaal Bailey publicly introduced the “Rap Music Trial” law. The bill would increase the freedom of speech for artists and creators and prevent their words from being used against them in court. Thus, they believe that they can create a fairer environment. This law, which opposes the use of artistic expressions as evidence against musicians, has a feature that will prevent politicians or anyone in court from using these words.

“Art is creative expression, not a plot of criminal plots,” Senator Hoylman said. “Nevertheless, we have seen prosecutors in New York and across the country attempt to use rap music lyrics as evidence in criminal cases, a practice that was upheld by a Maryland court this year.”

“Art is creative expression, not a blueprint of criminal plans,” said Sen. Hoylman. “Yet, we’ve seen prosecutors in New York and across the country try to use rap music lyrics as evidence in criminal cases, a practice upheld this year by a Maryland court.”

“It’s time to end the egregious bias against certain genres of music, like rap, and protect the First Amendment rights of all artists. I’m proud to introduce this legislation so that New York leads the way in treating artists fairly, no matter their background.”

Rap Lyrics Spoken in US Courts

“The right to free speech is enshrined in our federal and state constitutions because it is through this right that we can preserve all of our other fundamental rights,” Sen. Bailey said. “The admission of art as criminal evidence only serves to erode this fundamental right, and the use of rap and hip hop lyrics in particular is emblematic of the systemic racism that permeates our criminal justice system. In many cases, even the mere association with certain genres, like hip hop and rap, leads to heightened scrutiny in the courtroom and is used to presume guilt, immorality, and propensity for criminal activity.”

Will Rap Lyrics Be Used In Courts To End?

Lyrics won’t be banned completely in the courtroom once the bill is approved, but it won’t be easily used. Prosecutors will need to confirm that the evidence is admissible with clear and convincing evidence.

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