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Young Thug’s Drawn Out YSL RICO Trial Taking Longer By The Day

Young Thug’s Drawn Out YSL RICO Trial Taking Longer By The Day

YSL Legal Battle For Young Thug Reveals Perils Of Lengthy Trials

As the record-setting YSL RICO trial starts up again this month, Young Thug’s Atlanta trial is a sobering reminder of the weight of lengthy trials on the justice system, court resources, and defendants. This case is a lesson in what can go wrong for everyone and what anyone in Georgia and beyond needs to know about their rights.

Before diving into what the YSL case and Young Thug’s trial mean from a defense perspective, let us take a quick look at the case, an update on its current situation, and why it is taking so long overall.

An Update On Young Thug’s YSL Rico Case And Endless Trial

Young Thug is back in the news this April, almost two years after his initial arrest back in May of 2022, as his trial grinds slowly back into gear.

The YSL RICO case (under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) is a massive multi-part case that initially targeted nearly 30 YSL artists, members, employees, and associates. The prosecution, led by Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis, alleges that the rapper, whose legal name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, and his label YSL (officially Young Stoner Life) represent Young Slime Life, which they argue is the equivalent to a gang, involved and profiting from extensive criminal activity.

The trial officially began in January of last year but was bogged down in an extremely long jury selection process. Complicated by accusations of witness intimidation, as well as considerable drama among several of the defendants and their lawyers, including a stabbing, it is quickly becoming one of the longest in the state’s history.

Last week, the judge came under some public criticism for denying more defense motions, moving the case onto a round of witness testimony for the prosecution.

Readers will be able to follow large portions of it online during live streams like these: WATCH LIVE: Young Thug, YSL trial continues in Fulton County

Judge Ural Glanville has been trying to move the case forward despite, or perhaps because, he has also denied Young Thug’s request for bail three times. This means that the infamous Atlanta rapper has been in jail for nearly two years now, and the case is starting to cost all parties involved, including the taxpayer, a hefty fee.

Long Trial Impacts Everyone From Young Thug To The Justice System

Lengthy trials like Young Thug’s YSL RICO case are rare, but they highlight a major difficulty for the court system. As complex cases integrate more and more sources of evidence, they become a substantial drain on court, state, and defender’s finances.

And it isn’t just the court and the judge, even the state’s lawyers can struggle. One of the public defenders assigned to another accused YSL member tried to back out, citing the paltry pay for the duration, and had to negotiate with the judge for a higher ongoing fee.

Yet the burden is arguably the greatest on Young Thug (born Jeffery Lamar Williams); unlike Gunna, another high-profile YSL member implicated in the accusations, Mr. Williams has refused to make any sort of plea and has remained in jail since 2022.

While the judge no doubt had valid reasons for denying bail, the rapper’s mental and physical health, according to the defense, have been adversely affected by his continued and prolonged confinement despite no judgment pronounced against him.

Finally, one more victim is worth mentioning: the legal system itself. Georgia’s courts are already in the spotlight for the case against former president Donald Trump, and the YSL debacle is doing nothing for popular trust in the Fulton County justice system or the US court system as a whole.

No need to look any further to see that degradation in action than the comments on articles and videos from the YSL trial, filled with complaints from responders seemingly from both in support of and against Young Thug, both arguing the trial is a sham, farce, or waste of time and money.

This is especially important since the court made an unpopular decision last year to allow Young Thug’s rap lyrics into the court as evidence, which has caused a fair amount of controversy at a time when legislators in Georgia and across the US are debating the legitimacy of such evidence.

You May Have The Right To Remain Silent, But The Court Has A Right To Listen…

Of the nearly thirty Overt Acts brought forward by the prosecution, a substantial portion are based entirely or partially on lyrics from Young Thug’s rap songs and collaborations over the last ten years. This calls into question two fundamental rights and has been the subject of much debate.

On the one hand, rap lyrics are argued by the defense to be a form of artistic expression, part of creating a persona and conveying emotions, moods, and themes, not facts. Taking them literally, according to Young Thug’s defense lawyer, is not just foolish and inaccurate, but a harsh violation of the first amendment right to freedom of speech and artistic expression.

Nevertheless, the state’s behavior should serve as a reminder to anyone and everyone, not just famous rappers like Young Thug, that your right to stay silent should be taken incredibly seriously. Police and law enforcement, as the YSL case reveals, will include everything and anything they can, even taking your words out of context and ignoring any sarcasm, jest, or lyrical rapping.

If ever you are in doubt, just remember to include and consult a lawyer before speaking with law enforcement officers or lawyers. The trial is also a chilling reminder of the importance of understanding your rights as a whole when accused and the difficult decisions you will have to make about taking a plea or not.

What Can Ordinary Georgians And Americans Learn From The Drawn Out YSL Rico Case Against Young Thug?

Most people dragged before the court do not have Young Thug’s resources or support. A long stint in jail can cost them their job, family connections, or reputation. While the Atlanta rapper only seems to have gathered support for his refusal to plea, the pressure was great enough that many, if not most, of the other YSL members accused took a plea of one form or another, if only to get out on bail.

When facing accusations of any kind, you will have to carefully weigh your options, and that is just not possible without the help of a skilled attorney. If Young Thug’s protegee Gunna was able to get off on an Alford Plea that allows him to plead guilty while still maintaining his innocence, it is because he had an excellent lawyer to identify and negotiate that opportunity.

So when you are pulled over, or the cops show up at your door, and you are told you have the right to an attorney, it is vital that you exercise that right – or else it might be you who ends up spending years in jail, awaiting an endless trial to finish, and not getting any younger by the day.

this is where I would add a CTA, but it is not clear from the assignment who this is for, so I cannot write one in…please let me know if you need one, and if so, for whom

Phillips & Nemajovsky, P.C. Attorneys at Law

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(229) 808-8180

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