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Young Thug and Gunna’s RICO Case Trial is Set for January 2023

The trial of Young Thug, Gunna, and the 26 other defendants are set to start in January 2023, after the judge in their case precluded a demand for the delay of the trial until March.

The two rappers were among those arrested in a wide gang indictment earlier this year, with prosecutors alleging the two high-profile defendants are concerned guilty of a criminal cartel in Atlanta.

Young Thug and Gunna have been accused of conspiracy to break the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) with their label, YSL Records, which was marked the centerpiece of a gang.

On October 17, Fulton County Judge Ural Glanville assured that the artists’ case will proceed to trial on January 9, with lead prosecutor Adriane Love setting forth a list of around 300 witnesses.

Glanville rejected a request prosecutors pointed in October to postpone the trial to March of 2023, claiming that eight defendants still don't have lawyers. Young Thug’s lawyers criticized the delay request, writing in their filing that it was “unfair” that the rapper “deteriorates in the county jail” while remaining “on the appointment of counsel for co-indictees”.

Glanville agreed, saying that the defendants “merit to have a right to proceed to trial.” His denial of the delay was based on the point that most of the defendants have not been given a bond since their arrest in May. The trial is anticipated to take between six to nine months.

Both Young Thug and Gunna have been rejected bond on different occasions, which “considers heavily on the court in terms of a beginning date for this trial,” Glanville said. Gunna’s last bond plea in October was rejected because he posed a danger to, and could hurt potential witnesses.

The rappers’ lawyers have unfailingly doubted the charges since their arrest.

In late May, Gunna claimed not guilty to the charges, with his legal team defining the RICO indictment as “extremely problematic” at the time.

Before that, Young Thug’s lawyer Brian Steel argued that Young Thug is innocent, saying that the rapper “committed no crime.” In June, Gunna dropped a message saying he is “being falsely charged and will never stop resisting” to remove the charges.

The trial centers around the YSL label founded by Thug and two others 6 years ago. Authorities argue that the label, to which Gunna is also inscribed, is an “illegal and criminal street gang”. The prosecution in the case has courted debate for its dependence on YSL members’ rap lyrics and social media posts as apparent “acts in furtherance of the conspiracy”.

Reacting to that objection earlier this month, Young Thug and YSL were mentioned in an open letter demanding the US legal system ban rap lyrics being used as evidence in courts.

The letter – signed by Megan Thee Stallion, Coldplay, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, and Future – conveyed the use of lyrics as evidence in court as “un-American and simply wrong.”


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