Last month, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that violent rap lyrics cannot be used as evidence in trials, except for special situations when those lyrics are closely connected to the case in question. "One would not presume that Bob Marley, who wrote the well-known song 'I Shot the Sheriff,' actually shot a sheriff," the presiding judge wrote in her decision.
But even if violent lyrics can't be used against the author in court, it turns out they can be used against fans posting them to Facebook. A Kentucky man was recently arrested for posting violent lyrics from a metal band on his Facebook page.
The man, 31-year-old James Evans, took a quote from the song "Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)" by the Bay Area metal band Exodus. The quote chosen by Evans is especially gruesome: "Student bodies lying dead in the halls, a blood splattered treatise of hate / Class dismissed is my hypothesis, gun fire ends in debate." The warrant for Evans' arrest suggested that "he threatened to kill students and/or staff at school."