SAN DIEGO, CA -- A rapper will go on trial for attempted murder because the District Attorney's office claims his music promoted the crime.
Rapper Tiny Doo, whose real name is Brandon Duncan, is one of 15 defendants charged in a string of shootings that terrorized a neighborhood in San Diego. Tiny Doo is a documented gang member, but prosecutors admit he had no direct involvement in those shootings.
However, there's a little used law in California that allows for the prosecution of gang members who benefit from crimes committed by fellow gang members. Prosecutors argue the rapper benefited from the shootings because his gang gained status, which gave him more street cred, which then allowed him to sell more records, San Diego ABC affiliate KGTVreports.
"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 Deputy District Attorney Anthony Campagna.
Duncan's attorney believes the law is unconstitutional.
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," Brian Watkins told KGTV.
"If we are trying to criminalize artistic expression, what's next, Brian De Palma and Al Pacino?" told the Los Angeles Times. "Every drug gangster loves 'Scarface.' Does it encourage violence?"
Duncan remains in jail in lieu of $1-million bail until his trial begins on Dec. 4. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
Rapper faces life in prison for releasing music album