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Young Thug Trial Update: Jury Instructed To Stay Off Social Media

Young Thug Trial Update: Jury Instructed To Stay Off Social Media After A Juror Fears Retaliation
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 13: Rapper Young Thug speaks onstage at the 2021 REVOLT Summit at 787 Windsor on November 13, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Usually during a trial, the jury is only questioned during the jury selection process. But as courtroom antics become more synonymous with the RICO trial of Young Thug, instead of listening to testimony, “at least one juror ended up being questioned themselves.”

On day three of the trial, Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Ural Glanville revealed that some jurors had been inadvertently “been filmed by media in the courtroom, and one of their identities was later revealed on social media,” American Songwriter reports.  

“One of the jurors had shared a video on her phone with one of the deputies concerned that a well-known blogger had shot images inside the courtroom that could identify that juror and feared retaliation,” Fox5 Atlanta writes. “The image appears to show a monitor with images from the courtroom’s ongoing Zoom call during jury selection.”

Although Judge Glanville was distressed by this turn of events, and “considered the possibility of a mistrial, he instead just prohibited filming in the courtroom for the rest of day 3.”

Originally, the judge instructed the jury to stay off social media in October. Following this disclosure, the judge then reissued the warning before dismissing the jury for the day.

On day four, the judge started off by again referencing the accidental recording. He re-emphasized “that he would not consider a mistrial ruling and did not want to ‘weird out’ the jurors since they could not access social media anyway and would not know they were identified.

Following this announcement, the trial proceeded and additional witnesses were called to the stand.

Young Thug’s trial has gained attention in part because of a controversial issue at hand: whether his rap lyrics can be used as evidence “as they pass legal relevance and foundation tests.”

But some experts are concerned about it being a slippery slope.

According to a University of California, Irvine 2016 study, “[m]ore recently, rap lyrics have been introduced by prosecutors to establish guilt in criminal trials. Some fear this form of artistic expression will be inappropriately interpreted as literal and threatening, perhaps because of stereotypes.”

What’s troubling is that the study’s “findings highlight the possibility that rap lyrics could inappropriately impact jurors when admitted as evidence to prove guilt.”

Adriane Love, Fulton County prosecutor, insists that the rap lyrics did not prompt the investigation. “We didn’t chase the lyrics to solve the murders,” says Love. “We chased the murders and, as the evidence will show, in the process, we found the lyrics.”

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