By Dean Obeidallah
March 7, 2014
“Anything you say can be used against you in the court of law.” These famous words are, of course, part of the Miranda warnings read by the police to suspects after being arrested.
But this warning apparently needs to be updated to advise people that not only will anything you say, but also any rap lyrics you write can be used against you, even if they were penned years before the crime at issue.
Those are the very facts of Vonte Skinner’s case currently pending on appeal before the New Jersey Supreme Court. Skinner was charged with the 2005 attempted murder of Lamont Peterson who had been shot several times at close range.
Earlier this week oral arguments were heard regarding whether Skinner’s rap lyrics were improperly admitted by the trial judge. Here’s just a sample of 13 pages of Skinner’s lyrics read by the prosecution to the jury:
I love bringin’ heat and to beef melt ya’ Jeep. Two to your helmet and four slugs drillin’ your cheek to blow your face off and leave your brain caved in the street.
Yo, look in my eyes. You can see death comin’ quick. Look in my palms, you can see what I’m gunnin’ with. I play no games when it comes to this war shit. If death was a jacket, you would see how the floor fits.
You get the idea. Unsurprisingly, Skinner was convicted despite the weapon not being found and conflicting testimony identifying him as the shooter.
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