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Can prosecutors send a man to prison over his rap lyrics?

One of the rules of the stop snitching code should probably be to make sure you don’t snitch on yourself.   Rappers have beendumb enough to do that in the past, shooting somebody and then rapping about it, thinking that the police don’t have ears.

But what if you aren’t even snitching on yourself, but actually talking about the actions of somebody else?  That’s what makes this case so strange.  It also says that being a studio gangster might be bad for your health.

A rapper named Tiny Doo is in the middle of a serious controversy that involves the tracks he’s dropping in the studio.  Tiny, whose real name is Brandon Duncan, is making a name for himself by breaking down the gang culture in California.  He’s even rapped with Lil Wayne and some other well-known artists in the hip-hop arena.

The rapper has no criminal record, but he’s behind bars right now.  Tiny has been accused of profiting from violence and crimes committed by other members of his gang.  Prosecutors say that he was able to sell more records after the gang gained status from attacking people in the community.  The law was put into place in the year 2000, but hasn’t been used until now.  It’s kind of funny that the first time they choose to use the law, it’s being used to put a black man in prison.

So, this leads to a very serious question:  Can you lock someone up for profiting off of homicide?  If this man goes to prison, what about the record labels that make money from the homicides that are occurring in the streets?  Aren’t they the first ones to profit?   It seems like they are making more money than anybody else, so maybe they should go to prison first.

Read the story, it’ll get your attention.  Also, if you want to rap, try to find something to talk about other than the death of black people.  It’s not cool and a little bit depressing.

It’s a showdown that is breaking legal ground — a local man with no criminal record facing a lifetime behind bars for cutting a rap album.

Brandon Duncan, also known as Tiny Doo, has rapped with hip hop star Lil’ Wayne and boasts a big following with music dissecting gang life, including his new album “No Safety.”

On Friday, Duncan and some of the 14 other gang members facing attempted murder charges were in court for day two of a preliminary hearing. They are charged in a gang conspiracy involving nine local shootings since April 2013, as a judge mulled a possible trial.

Prosecutors are calling upon a state law put in place by voters in 2000 that has not been used until now. It allows for the prosecution of gang members if they benefit from crimes committed by other gang members.

Though Duncan hasn’t been tied to the shootings, prosecutors argued that he benefited from the shootings because his gang gained in status, allowing him to sell more albums.

“We’re not just talking about a CD of anything, of love songs. We’re talking about a CD (cover) … there is a revolver with bullets,” said Deputy District Attorney Anthony Campagna.

The goal of the law — extra powers aimed at gang crime.

In San Diego, a third of all crimes are committed by gang members.

Duncan’s attorney calls the charges a reach.

 

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