In what may be the most disgusting misuse of prosecutorial power I’ve ever heard, a San Diego Rapper named Brandon Duncan – who goes by the stage name Tiny Doo – is facing life in prison for being a successful musician!
Tiny Doo is on trial with 14 of his fellow gang members. He has not been tied to any known crimes, but is being charged under a little-used law (In fact, this is the first time it’s been used) that prosecutes gang members who BENEFIT from the actions of other gang members. The prosecutor claims that while Tiny Doo cannot be connected to any crimes, he has benefited from the crimes of his gang friends. How you ask? By seeing an increase in album sales…
— Michael Chen (@10NewsChen) November 17, 2014
One particularly egregious statement from the prosecutor shows you just how thin the prosecutor’s case is…
“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.”
Charged with murder for writing songs that aren’t about love and having your album cover show a revolver with bullets? The former members of Guns N’ Roses better watch out… the San Diego prosecutors may be coming after them soon too!
Look, I’m not saying this guy isn’t a bad guy – if he’s in a gang, he probably is – what I am saying is that this prosecution is a terrible miscarriage of the American justice system. We do not send people to jail simply for knowing the people who have committed a crime. We also do not send people to jail for saying/writing things that don’t DIRECTLY lead to a crime!
This is America. The Constitution guarantees us the freedom to speech, even speech other people may find disturbing.
Tiny Doo’s lawyer, Brian Watkins, makes a couple of good points:
“It’s shocking. He has no criminal record. Nothing in his lyrics say go out and commit a crime. Nothing in his lyrics reference these shootings, yet they are holding him liable for conspiracy. There are huge constitutional issues.”
The local news station spoke to Alex Kreit, who is a professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, about the Constitutional implications of this trial.
“Where does that end if that’s the definition of criminal liability? Is Martin Scorsese going to be prosecuted if he meets with mafia members for a movie for his next film?” Kreit said. “The Constitution says it can’t be a crime to simply make gangster rap songs and hang out with people that are committing crimes. You have to have more involvement than that.”
Exactly right. Not just Martin Scorcese, but any actor, any producer, any director, any singer, and author, any writer … ANYONE who has ever produced a product and met with a criminal could go on trial in California!
Tiny Doo (Brandon Duncan) may be a very bad dude… but this situation is simply wrong.
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