Rapper Tiny Doo is facing life in prison because he made an album.
We covered his bizarre case last month, but the short of it is that San Diego prosecutors are charging Doo (Brandon Duncan) under an obscure California law that says anyone who actively participates in a criminal street gang and "who willfully promotes, furthers, assists, or benefits from any felonious criminal conduct by members of that gang" can be charged with any crimes that gang may commit.
Thus Duncan, who has no criminal record, is being charged for a series of nine shootings that he otherwise had nothing to do with. In their case against him, prosecutors argue that Duncan made his gang affiliation clear in his music, including his latest album No Safety.
"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," defense attorney Brian Watkins said outside of court after Duncan's not guilty plea.
"It's really given a black eye to the legal system here in the DA's office," the attorney said. "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."
Duncan is the first person to be charged under the law, which was approved by California voters in 2000. He is set to go to trial on January 23. He's been in custody since his June arrest.
Here's hoping either the prosecutors reconsider and drop their ridiculous charges, or that the jury sees through this nonsense. Then, when he's a free man, Tiny Doo can do something about his awful name.