US Rapper Faces Lifetime Sentence For Releasing Record

A Californian rapper with no prior criminal record, who goes by the name of Tiny Doo, faces a lifetime sentence just for releasing an album.

ABC 10 reports 15 San Diego gang members, including Tiny Doo (real name Brandon Duncan), face multiple charges, including attempted murder, related to an alleged gang conspiracy surrounding nine local shootings which date back to April 2013.

Even though Duncan has not been tied to the shootings, prosecutors are attempting to prove the gang’s increased notoriety enabled him to capitalise on the shootings through boosted record sales. A California state law from 2000, which has never been invoked until now, allows for the prosecution of gang members who have benefited from the criminal actions of other gang members.

During a preliminary hearing Deputy District Attorney Anthony Campagna referenced the cover art (below) of No Safety in attempting to link the record to the shootings. “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 Campagna.

Duncan’s attorney Brian Watkins said the charges are “a reach” and that at no point does No Safety reference the shootings. “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,” said Watkins.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor Alex Kreit agrees with Watkins, noting the 2000 California state law should be unconstitutional and, if the prosecution is successful, the implications on the definition of criminal liability could be disastrous.

“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,” Kreit told ABC 10.

“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?”

You can watch ABC 10‘s report and and listen to Tiny Doo’s No Safety below.

Watch: ABC 10 – Rapper Facing Long Prison Sentence For Making Album


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