A Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that hip hop lyrics can be used as evidence to support a defendant's guilt.
Lawrence Montague rapped into a jail phone, the lyrics of which were later used to argue his murder conviction.
"I’ll be playing the block bitch/And if you ever play with me/I’ll give you a dream, a couple shots snitch/It’s like hockey pucks the way I dish out this/It’s a .40 when that bitch going hit up shit," Montague rapped.
The state used the lyrics to convict Montague in the January 2017 killing of George Forrester. He was sentenced to 50 years for second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in a violent crime, which confirms rap lyrics can be used in a court case.
"While rap lyric evidence often has prejudicial effect as improper propensity evidence of a defendant’s bad character, those concerns are diminished when the lyrics are so akin to the alleged crime that they serve as ‘direct proof’ of the defendant’s involvement," Judge Joseph Getty said. Getty added that his rap could also serve as witness tampering since he threatened to harm any individuals who tried to testify against him.
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