Going to prison over a song, yeah, in the USA

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Shivetya, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #1
    http://www.theledger.com/article/20...?Title=Lakeland-Man-Goes-To-Prison-For-a-Song


    Full lyrics are here http://www.wtsp.com/news/mostpop/story.aspx?storyid=110682&provider=top and will be quoted at the end of this post


    Legal analysis is available on http://volokh.com/posts/1249343839.shtml of which I do agree with some reservations.

    If the guy was truly meaning to to threaten the cops then I can see how they could charge him, but two years in prison seems excessive for a song. While it might not be protected by free speech two years to me seems gratuitous




     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #2
    Hyped? Yes. But in today's digital era I would say a threat on any medium is viable and should be punishable if found to be at all concrete.
     
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #3
    The mere fact that it is in song format should not negate the fact that it does seem to be a pretty clear threat where by he named names of targets, said how he was going to commit the crime and then published it.

    As per the length of the sentence I have no prior experience with such legal cases in the US to know if it is too long/short or about right.
     
  4. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    However he didn't publish it, it is two years old. Someone else published it without knowing otherwise.
     
  5. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

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    #5
    That song is tame compared to Uncle Murder fare. Every one of his songs is like that, and he gets radio play. The only thing that's different is that this one actually names a person.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    Hmm...in Florida. Not surprised. It's not exactly a shining beacon of freedom down there.
     
  7. Shotglass macrumors 65816

    Shotglass

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    #7
    Not too sure what to do with this. Of course the musician is free to express his opinion, but in this case it is a personal threat. Maybe in this case you could prohibit the publication of such a song instead of sending people to prison. But really, I'm not sure.
     
  8. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #8
    2LiveCrew was brought to court in FL, so this is just another par for the course tactic down here.


    Im sorry, but I dont give a crap he used a cop's name, or anyone elses.

    Why is this outside the scope of protected speech? There is not inciting of violence within the words. Just descriptions in a poetic (albeit childish) manner.

    If this was Biggie, Christina Aguilera, or Scott Stapp (shudder), talking smack, using names, talking crimes, they wouldnt get anything except a rebuttal song on the next album.

    So, does this deserve legal scrutiny? nope. but when a cop fears for their life, you better believe they come out swinging...and tazin.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    I remember the 2LiveCrew thing. That was stupid too. Didn't they just prosecute a porn producer too?
     
  10. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #10
    They used specific names, I don't think 2 years is right but they should have definitely got some time.
     
  11. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #11
    When is protected speech not protected Mr. Lawyer?

    I dont see this as inciting a riot or general public unrest...so where is the harm from simple words?

    I should be able to call out someone by name and speak my opinion of them. Why does including fictitious scenarios (in prose no less) make it then illegal to speak?

    Until a crime is committed...you cant prosecute. Though i know many have tried and succeed. That does NOT make it right and in all honesty should become a Supreme Court matter if you get down to the brass tacks of this crap.
     
  12. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #12
    It is a crime to threaten to shoot a specific person in the 'dome'. Regardless of media. Your first amendment right doesn't allow you to impede on the security of others.
     
  13. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #13
    Since when is a song, poem a direct threat?

    Id see any lawyer worth his salt putting no a show about metaphors, syllables, poetry and the English language.

    He didnt shoot the guy.

    Following thru with actions is a crime.

    This is a HUGE grey area obviously, and if you personally feel the song is illegal, say so. But dont hide behind the words and just say "Look, he said this, its bad."
     
  14. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #14
    Since directly threatening someone's life became illegal and you use the threat in a song or poem. The dumbest piece on the plaintiff's part was actually recording it, he basically just signed off on his own crime.

    Do you really think I would get away with sending death threats to someone as long as they were in poem form? I am pretty sure if you wrote a song about murdering the president the FBI would be knocking your door down within days time.
     
  15. mbpnewbie macrumors regular

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    #15
    Why is this any different than Jay-z talking about selling crack cocaine in his songs, or various other rappers glorifying drug use, and murder? I got a traffic ticket once, and created a facebook group by the name of "F*** the (name of police department)" I can tell the guy was obviously mad, so he went and got creative and made a song, instead of taking revenge... To me this sends a message of:
    "your gonna get time for writing a song, why not just commit the damn crime, anyway..."
     
  16. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #16
    using direct names with violent words is indeed a threat

    protected speech only extends so far. i mean you cant yell "fire" in a theater, you cant say "i have a bomb" on an airplane

    you cant threaten others specifically and say its protected by free speech. if the threat is deemed uncredible he should have nothing to worry about. however, naming names makes that a hard case to prove...


    to all those who think its protected, i suggest you do some research:rolleyes:

    I agree

    I agree

    A song does not make it "ok"

    Very true

    I mean heck, Eminem was investigated by the Secret Service over threats to the President by his song, "We are American"
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/Music/12/05/eminem.lyrics/index.html

    only when the threat was deemed uncredible did they drop it
     
  17. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #17
    The lyrics don't say "He deserves what he gets", the lyrics say:
    That's pretty specific.
     
  18. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

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    #18
    Eminem... he does this and makes money from it :eek:
     
  19. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #19
    Are you people mad?

    He used a real officer's name and threatened to kill him. All this in the context of a nation where guns are legal and gun and gang crime is rife.

    Lock him up, throw away the key and move on to the next clown.
     
  20. designgeek macrumors 65816

    designgeek

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    #20
    I didn't research the story but why do I think this is some poser white boy trying to look tough?
     

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