A member of the Brothers Keepers gang was sentenced to life in prison for murder and attempted murder, and lyrics from his rap songs were played against him during the sentencing.
The judge handed down the sentence this week, citing “artistic expression” as one of the factors that allowed him to reach his verdict.
Tyrel Nguyen was therefore found guilty of two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, the “Vancouver Sun” reported.
According to the newspaper, the gang member confessed to killing one of his victims in a clip in which he said he shot him multiple times, including once in the head.
Lyrics used in the trial were allegedly related to the 2017 murder of Randy Kang in Surrey, British Columbia.
According to British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Miriam Cropper, “artistic expression” was first used in Canada in 1996, when a roommate was murdered in the second degree after finding a poem in his bedroom.
Although the process has since been used dozens of times in Canada, critics say it targets rap lyrics too much and therefore “could be unfair to black Canadians and other minorities,” according to a Canadian legal expert. Quoted in the article.
According to a study by David Danovich, a professor at the University of Windsor, 36 examples cited in the tests included rap lyrics, compared to only one case of metal stock, which was not included.
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