[Ed. – This is, in fact, extremely troubling. This is a guy with no criminal history whose only “crime” is provocative imagery on his rap album cover. I wouldn’t focus solely on the handgun aspect of this either, although we can obviously see how this kind of “incitement” charge could be used against gun-rights bloggers who use images of guns. But it could also be used to charge people with incitement to “hate crimes” if they merely express opinions on social issues.]
Like countless artists before him, San Diego-based rapper Brandon Duncan’s new album features a picture of a gun and bullets on its front cover. However Duncan, who raps under the name Tiny Doo, could be the first artist to go to jail for his choice of album art.
Duncan faces 25-years-to-life on gang conspiracy charges brought against him this week, according to the Los Angeles Times. Prosecutors will reportedly look to prove that the album art “willfully promotes, furthers, or assists in any felonious criminal conduct by members of that gang.” …
“It’s shocking,” [attorney Brian] Watkins told CounterCurrentNews. “He has no criminal record. Nothing in his lyrics say ‘go out and commit a crime.’ Nothing in his lyrics reference these shootings, yet they are holding him liable for conspiracy. There are huge constitutional issues.”
Duncan is able to be charged with gang conspiracy under a seldom-invoked 2000 law that allows for those charges based on “promoting” or encouraging felonious gang activity. Duncan’s attorney called the charges “absolutely unconstitutional,” and promised a fight.