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Court: Lyrics shouldn’t have been used as evidence

Local News | Aug 05, 2014

Court: Lyrics shouldn’t have been used as evidence

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ruled that violent rap lyrics should not have been admitted into evidence in an attempted murder trial.

Vonte Skinner was convicted of shooting a fellow drug dealer in 2005. His conviction was overturned by an appeals court that faulted the trial judge for allowing prosecutors to read the lyrics to jurors.

Some of the lyrics were written years before the crime. Among the lyrics, Skinner boasted about “four slugs drillin’ your cheek to blow your face off and leave your brain caved in the street.”

In Monday’s 6-0 ruling, the state’s highest court wrote that admitting the lyrics was highly prejudicial to the jury and wasn’t outweighed by the lyrics’ relevance to establishing motive or intent.

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