The Atlanta City Council passed a resolution to limit the use of rap lyrics in criminal trials.
District 12 Councilmember Antonio Lewis introduced the legislation to address growing concerns over prosecutors citing lyrics as evidence. The issue gained more attention over the past year due to the use of lyrics in Young Thug’s RICO case.
Young Thug and his co-defendants are waiting for a jury to be seated in their trial. Jury selection began in January.
The Atlanta City Council hopes to convince the Georgia General Assembly to review a statute in the Georgia Code. The council wants Title 17, Chapter 7 to be amended to help protect the constitutional rights of rappers.
“Our resolution is a significant step toward rectifying an issue that has disproportionately affected individuals within marginalized communities,” Lewis said. “We must protect the freedom of artistic expression while ensuring that evidence used in criminal trials is relevant, reliable, and does not perpetuate bias. By urging the Georgia General Assembly to address this matter, we are fostering a more equitable and just criminal justice system for all.”
Atlanta officials seek to “prevent racial bias” with the legislation. The council encouraged the Georgia General Assembly to follow the lead of other lawmakers and distinguish artistic expression from criminal acts.