State v. Williams: The Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee Incorrectly Allowed Rap Lyrics as Evidence to Prove the Character of the Accused

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Authors
Kasamoto, Bryce
Issue Date
2024-04
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Journal Article
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To begin the determination of whether the Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee correctly allowed the rap video in State v. Williams as character evidence, this Note will first review the facts and holding of Williams. This Note will then generally review the development of the rap genre and the stigmas that followed it. This Note will then review cases that display the modern trend of courts limiting the admission of rap lyrics as character evidence to prove intent. Lastly, this Note will argue the Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee incorrectly allowed the rap video in State v. Williams as character evidence, and that courts should follow the “direct connection between lyrics and the crime in question” standard outline in Skinner.
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Creighton University School of Law
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