Rapper Facing Life Sentence For His Lyrics Pleads Not Guilty
San Diego rap artist Tiny Doo, 33, made headlines last month when law officiasl connected him to a series of shooting that took place last year – simply because of his music. Tiny, whose real name is Brandon Duncan, faces a life sentence for being affiliated with the gang members responsible for nine shootings, because he gained popularity from their activity to sell his records.
“They’re charging Brandon Duncan with crimes that the District Attorney admits that he had no involvement in or even knowledge of. That is the definition of injustice,” Duncan’s lawyer Brian Watkins told Fox 5 San Diego.
San Diego prosecutors are enacting a gang conspiracy law that allows for the charging of gang affiliates in the crimes of members if they promote or benefit from them in anyway. Officials will seek to prove that Tiny Doo’s notoriety for being affiliated with a gang led to more success for him as a rapper, although Duncan himself has a clean criminal record. Watkins pointed out the errors in their claims.
“To charge someone with crimes while admitting he had no knowledge of those crimes. Based on his artistic expression, he made a rap album — a rap album that’s actually made in 2012, these shootings occurred in 2013 — so there’s absolutely no connection,” he said.
Duncan’s trial has been scheduled to begin on Jan. 23. The district attorney’s office released a statement in regards to the case.
“This case is about protecting our neighborhoods by taking violent gang members off the streets and holding them accountable for the crimes they commit using a law that voters passed and the court has recognized as constitutional,” it read.