There’s an old saying that actions speak louder than words. Not if you’re Vonte Skinner. Skinner was convicted in 2008 of shooting and paralyzing Lamont Peterson, a fellow drug crew member, in a dispute over guns and money in Willingboro, New Jersey. At his trial, prosecutors introduced 13 pages of violent rap lyrics Skinner had written as evidence against him. It didn’t seem to matter that the lyrics were written 5 years before the incident occurred.
Monday, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered Skinner a new trial with a pretty fantastic opinion:
“One would not presume that Bob Marley, who wrote the well-known song ‘I Shot the Sheriff,’ actually shot a sheriff, or that Edgar Allan Poe buried a man beneath his floorboards, as depicted in his short story ‘The Tell-Tale Heart,’ simply because of their respective artistic endeavors on those subjects,” wrote Justice Jaynee LaVecchia in the court’s unanimous opinion.
Good to know creative freedom is safe–otherwise Eminem would also have a lot of explaining to do.
Team Blackness also discussed yet another Stand Your Ground defense in Florida, a Republican candidate who tried on homelessness for a week, and a billionaire who bought his way out of a jail sentence.