Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Racial Profiiling & Gangsta Rap as Evidence in Criminal Investigations & Trials

Wishful thinking pervades discussions of the evidentiary use of both racial profiling and "gangsta rap" in criminal investigations and trials. Compare, e.g., Holmes v. State,  306 P.3d 415  (2013) (gangsta rap lyrics held admissible) with Hannah v. State,  420 Md. 339, 23 A.3d 192 (2013) (rap lyrics should not have been admitted). The legal profession should be embarrassed by such transparently mushy thinking about such topics. See P. Tillers, If Wishes Were Horses: Discursive Comments on Attempts to Prevent Individuals from Being Unfairly Burdened by their Reference Classes, 4 Law, Probability and Risk 33 (Oxford University Press, 2005).

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