August 24, 2013

The Nevada Supreme Court upholds letting the defendant's rap song "Drug Deala" in as evidence in a murder trial.

Deyundrea Orlando Holmes wrote the song in jail and included lyrics about the details of the crime.
Part of the lyrics read, "I catching slipping at the club and jack you for your necklace." In gangsta parlance, "jacking" is slang for robbery. The lyrics also referenced, "I'm parking lot jacking, running through our pockets with uh ski mask on straight laughing."

Witnesses said [Kevin "Mo"] Nelson, a known drug dealer, was lured to the recording studio by Holmes and others on the pretense of a methamphetamine sale. Two men wearing ski masks and black clothes, later identified as Holmes and another man named Max Reed, accosted Nelson and his friend Kenny Clark, in the parking lot, according to court documents. During the struggle, Nelson's shirt and chain necklace were torn off and his pockets turned inside out....
The trial judge told the jury they could take these lyrics as "confessions, admissions or neither" and that they could not be used as evidence of the defendant's bad character or propensity to commit crimes. The court recognized rap lyrics may exaggerate or refer in the first person to things the rapper hasn't actually done, but that doesn't "exempt such writings from jury consideration where, as here, the lyrics describe details that mirror the crime charged."

How dumb was Holmes to write these lyrics in jail after he was arrested for murder? There's so much talk about how rappers are only playing characters and telling stories, but how obtuse do you need to be to imagine that you can immunize your confessions and admissions by putting them in rap form?

11 comments:

Sam L. said...

Nobody said criminals are smart.

Unknown said...

Know who else should be indicted for something?

Whoever named a kid Deyundrea Orlando.

Unknown said...

Know who else should be indicted for something?

Whoever named a kid Deyundrea Orlando.

Christy said...

Narco corridos -- written by criminals or by musicians in the thug community? They are in fact more or less real tales of drug running, er, adventures.

traditionalguy said...

That should worry Bob Dylan. If he should ever be charged with a crime his song lyrics will incriminate him of anything.

gadfly said...

That judge's name wasn't Debra Nelson by any chance - was it?

Emil Blatz said...

I was thinking "Green, Green Grass of Home" was more apropos, but then it says he got life means life, so, no Englebert Humperdinck. Or was that Tom Jones? I dunno...

madAsHell said...

Didn't Rachel Jeantel clarify the difference between deala and dealer??

"It's OK to say deala, but if you say dealer then you're a racist" she reminded us, as she wagged her head back-and-forth to reshuffle the rocks.

"Y'all be old school."

madAsHell said...

Whoever named a kid Deyundrea Orlando.

His mother is named Mylabia Piersen.

RiverRat said...

When Gangsta Ebonics replace plain American English the future was defined a long time ago.

Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

George Orwell

Matthew Sablan said...

So... they can "The trial judge told the jury they could take these lyrics as "confessions, admissions or neither" and that they could not be used as evidence of the defendant's bad character or propensity to commit crimes." In short: What the jury was going to do anyway, no matter what the judge told them.