Following a pattern that makes a few people uncomfortable, a man accused of three murders in New York City was sentenced to life in prison (plus some), after prosecutors used his rap lyrics against him during trial.
According to Reuters, Ronald “Ra Diggs” Herron, 33, was sentenced to 12 terms of life in prison plus 105 years on Thursday, after a jury in June 2014 found Herron guilty of all 23 charges against him, from racketeering to drug trafficking to gang-related killings between 2001 and 2009.
Prosecutors at the trial used Herron’s “gangsta rap” videos – in which he boasts about belonging to the infamous Bloods street gang, firing weapons and dealing drugs – to argue the lyrics documented his crimes. Herron’s lawyers argued that the lyrics were not autobiographical, but were commentary on crime, violence and drug wars in the inner city.
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in a statement Thursday said the life sentence would put an end to the “brutal, unrelenting violence” that Herron unleashed.
“Herron styled himself a rap artist, but the evidence proved that he was a murderous thug who sought power through violence, fear and intimidation,” she said.
During sentencing, Herron reportedly told the courtroom, “You guys sit here and continue to paint this picture that I’m the devil incarnate, the scourge of righteousness — it’s all crap…You can sentence me to 10 life sentences, but I am only going to die one time. God have mercy on all of us.”