Trial Begins For 2 Accused Of Killing Run-DMC Member Over 20 Years Ago
  • The man accused of killing Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay can not have his rap lyrics used against him at trial, a Brooklyn judge ruled Tuesday (January 30). The verdict praised hip-hop as “a forum for speech to people who had mostly been voiceless.”
  • Federal prosecutors tried to use Karl Jordan Jr.’s lyrics to convict him of murdering Jay, a pioneering artist born Jason Mizell, in 2002.
  • Brooklyn Federal Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall examined hip-hop’s 50-year history in her 14-page opinion, citing over a dozen artists’ songs before ruling the lyrics inadmissible.
  • While Hall stated that courts should be “wary” about using rap lyrics in court cases, she stated there may be exceptions for songs that detail a crime.
  • Should song lyrics be used in court cases? Why or why not?