My brother is facing 25 years to life for making a rap album
This petition made change with 47,899 supporters!
My brother Brandon Duncan is a loving father who is expecting another child in a few months. But there's a chance he may be in prison in what would be a shocking violation of his right to free speech. He's a good citizen with no criminal history. A crazy California law is being used to silence his free speech by outrageously suggesting he helped gangs just by making and distributing his independent rap record! Please sign my petition asking the San Diego Superior Court to dismiss this absurd case.
I started this petition because my brother is on trial starting February 9, 2015 and is possibly facing 25 years to life under a California law that passed in 2000 (CAL. PEN. CODE § 182.5) which vaguely says someone who "willfully promotes, furthers, assists, or benefits" gangs can be charged with conspiracy. How do you define such vague terms? The law, deliberately vague, must be changed because it makes no sense and is a violation of my brother's civil liberties.
Brandon's life has been influenced by his surroundings just like all of us. For my brother, the street gang in the neighborhood he grew up in was very visible, but he overcame that adversity and has used music as an outlet. His lyrics represent what he has seen over the years just like other musicians including Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Lil Wayne. And just like artists in other genres and from other socioeconomic backgrounds who write, speak, and create art. The people buying his album support him because they too have grown up in the same neighborhood and have experienced the same problems and hardships as he have.
Depending on the circumstances of the offense, even if you're not a gang member and even if you aren't the individual who was most directly responsible for committing the underlying felony, you may face life in jail. Are they saying my brother deserves life in prison for being born into a less privileged circumstance than the judge or prosecutor?
Again, my brother has no criminal history and this conspiracy talk is a threat to free speech everywhere.
This petition can make a difference because this law, depending on how it is interpreted, can violate a person's First Amendment Rights and Freedom of Speech. No one expects a community like Brandon's to peacefully and strategically organize to expose institutional discrimination, but I know we can do it.
Let's get this case against Brandon dropped and then work to fix the broken law.
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