Supreme Court Declines Free Speech Case Brought by Rapper

by Admin on April 29, 2019

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A Pittsburgh rapper’s case free speech case has been declined by the Supreme Court.

Jamal Knox, who raps under the pseudonym Mayhem Mal, was arrested by police in 2014 for rap lyrics that were deemed terroristic threatening. He was sentenced to 2-6 years in prison.

The lyrics were part of a song called “F*** the Police”.

Many famous rappers came to Knox’s side in the case and implored the Supreme Court to hear his case out.

Rappers such as Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Killer Mike, and Chance the Rapper wrote in a joint statement to the court that the lyrics were obviously poetic in nature and shouldn’t have been taken as actual threats of violence.

“F*** the Police [is a] political statement … that no reasonable person familiar with rap music would have interpreted as a true threat of violence,” the rappers argued.

In Thailand criminal cases, trials are not determined by juries but by a three-judge panel.

In the song, Knox and another rapper specifically call out and say specific threats of violence regarding two police officers that arrested them on gun and drug charges in 2012:

“I’ma jam this rusty knife all in his guts and chop his feet” and “Well your shift over at three and I’m gonna f*** up where you sleep.”

The cops involved in the case said the lyrics made them nervous and worried about their safety.

Despite losing the initial court case and an appeal, Knox’s lawyers wanted the Supreme Court to decide if a “reasonable person” would need to regard someone’s statements as actual threats or violence, not just someone’s–like the officers in the case–subjective view of a threat.

Read the full story here.

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