Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Join us for a panel discussion on the criminalization of rap music and the implications on creative expression and free speech.

Featuring Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Dr. Charis Kubrin and Dr. Sohail Daulatzai


January 22nd
5:30-7:00 pm, followed by reception
Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway room 1517

 

Dr. Charis Kubrin  “For Every Rhyme I Write, It’s 25 to Life”
Dr. Sohail Daulatzai “At Lady Justice, I Blaze Nine”
Dean Erwin Chemerinsky “My Freedom of Speech is Freedom or Death”

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Presented by the Center for Psychology and Law
Co-sponsored by the Newkirk Center for Science and Society

For abstracts click Read More below

Dr. Charis Kubrin  “For Every Rhyme I Write, It’s 25 to Life”

This talk will discuss a disturbing trend that is occurring in court rooms across the nation, what Kubrin and Nelson call “rap on trial,” as evidenced by the courts allowing the admission of rap music lyrics as evidence in criminal trials. In this talk Dr. Kubrin will draw attention to the practice of using rap lyrics as evidence in criminal proceedings as well as explore its context, describe its elements and contours, and consider its broader significance. She will offer examples of recent cases in which rap music has been used as evidence in trials against amateur rappers, almost all of whom are young men of color, in order to illustrate the specific ways that prosecutors use the music, as well as to highlight the devastating effects it can have on defendants. She will also consider the elements of rap music that leave it vulnerable to judicial abuse, as well as the artistic, racial, and legal ramifications of using this particular genre of music to put people in jail.

Dr. Sohail Daulatzai “At Lady Justice, I Blaze Nine”

This talk will explore how with the emergence of mass incarceration and what Michelle Alexander has called “the new Jim Crow,” hip-hop culture arose phoenix-like from the ashes of the post-Civil Rights and post-Black Power repression. A scream against the silence imposed, hip-hop’s days were predictably numbered, but not before it bore witness to a new kind of politics, one that creatively challenged state power, subverted the power of the law, and critically probed America through the eyes of the wretched of the earth.

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky “My Freedom of Speech is Freedom or Death”

This discussion will focus on the legal response to the issue of using rap lyrics as evidence in criminal proceedings. Additionally, freedom of speech and artistic expression will be discussed as they relate to this issue.