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Young Thug’s court case expected to be the longest trial in Georgia’s history
Featured Image Credit: Paras Griffin/Getty Images / Atlanta Journal Constitution

Young Thug’s court case expected to be the longest trial in Georgia’s history

The rapper has been in custody for a year, but the trial is yet to begin

The court case for rapper Young Thug could become one of the longest in the history of the US state of Georgia.

The rapper, real name Jeffery Lamar Williams, is facing charges alongside some 26 other people who were connected to a group called 'Young Slime Life', a street gang which formed in Atlanta in 2012.

In all, the defendants face a total of 56 counts.

Around 2,000 jurors were summoned in connection with the case and jury selection began back in January - however, a jury is still yet to be formed, despite Young Thug being in custody since May after being arrested on street gang activity charges.

This is due to the selection being plagued by arrests, charges and disruptions.

Young Thug remains in custody ahead of the trial.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

The amount of time it is taking to assemble a jury for the case has led some to highlight that the trial could become the longest in Georgia's history and, as reported by Atlanta News First, could last for more than a year.

The dubious title is currently held by the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) from 2014.

On 12 June, Young Thug released a statement from jail, which read: “You know, this isn’t about just me or YSL. I always use my music as a form of artistic expression, and I see now that Black artists and rappers don’t have that freedom.

"Everybody please sign the Protect Black Art petition and keep praying for us. I love you all.”

The Petition to Protect Black Art calls for state legislators to adopt bills which would prohibit the use of rap lyrics as evidence in court.

This forms a large part of the trial of Young Thug and the other defendants, with lyrics from songs being among the evidence presented for offences alongside social media posts.

There are now eight defendants left in the Young Slime Life trial - the number has reduced due to several people taking plea deals.

The trial itself, in Georgia, is yet to begin.
Atlanta Journal Constitution

A rapper known as Gunna has been released from jail after entering a particular kind of plea called an 'Alford plea'.

This effectively means that he can plead guilty to an offence but without legally admitting that he did it. This would work favourably during any sentencing hearings, as an early guilty plea entitles a defendant to credit.

Young Thug is among the defendants who are still awaiting trial. Individual juror examinations are expected to begin in August.

District attorney Fani Willis, who is overseeing the case, said: “It does not matter what your notoriety is or what your fame is. If you come to Fulton County, Georgia, you commit crimes, and certainly if those crimes are in furtherance of a street gang, then you are going to become a target and a focus of this district attorney’s office, and we are going to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."

Young Thug’s lawyer Brian Steel told The New York Times: “Mr. Williams came from an incredibly horrible upbringing, and he has conducted himself throughout his life in a way that is just to marvel at. He’s committed no crime whatsoever.”

Topics: Crime, Music, US News