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Gunna’s Lawyers Again Demand His Freedom: ‘Mockery of Due Process’

"Franz Kafka would be shocked" by the rapper's treatment, his attorneys say.

Lawyers for Gunna are once again asking a Georgia judge to release the star rapper, saying he’s been “languishing in jail nearly five months” and that prosecutors have not shown a “shred of evidence” that he’s going to threaten witnesses.

Following his arrest in May as part of a sweeping indictment of alleged Atlanta gang members, Gunna (real name Sergio Kitchens) has twice been refused pre-trial release on bond – both times because Fulton County prosecutors claimed that it might lead to witness intimidation.


But in a new filing Monday, Gunna’s lawyers said the government had not backed up on those suggestions with hard facts, arguing that prosecutors have so far “failed to verify a single instance in which one single person has actually made an accusation that Kitchens has threatened anybody.”

“Kitchens has been languishing in jail nearly five months,” wrote Steven Sadow and several other attorneys for the star. “Franz Kafka would be shocked to learn that ‘imprison him now; present the evidence sometime in the future’ appears to be the State’s reality in Fulton County.”

Despite repeated suggestions about what might happen if he’s released, Gunna’s lawyers says there’s “not a shred of evidence in the thousands of pages of discovery – not one piece of paper” that supports keeping him in jail ahead of trial: “The prosecution has been afforded ample time to develop evidence to support its motion to detain Kitchens. It has not succeeded.”

If the motion is denied, Gunna will remain in jail until his trial, which is currently scheduled for January.

Along with frequent collaborator Young Thug and dozens of others, Gunna was indicted in May on accusations that their group YSL was not a record label called “Young Stoner Life” but really a violent street gang called “Young Slime Life.” The charges included allegations of murder, carjacking, armed robbery, drug dealing and illegal firearm possession over the past decade.

The case is built around Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a state law based on the more famous federal RICO statute that’s been used to target the mafia, drug cartels and other forms of organized crime. Such laws make it easier for prosecutors to sweep up many members of an alleged criminal conspiracy based on many smaller acts that aren’t directly related.

Beyond indicting two of rap’s biggest stars, the case also made waves because it cited their lyrics as supposed evidence of their crimes — a controversial practice that critics say unfairly sways juries and injects racial bias into the courtroom. District Attorney Fani Willis has since strongly defended the tactic.

At a hearing in May, the judge overseeing the case refused to release Gunna on bond – seemingly swayed by arguments from prosecutors that Young Thug and Gunna were the ones “directing the violence” and would be able to intimidate witnesses if released ahead of trial. At a second hearing in July, the same judge once again refused to grant bond over similar concerns.

In Monday’s new request, Gunna’s lawyers offered a statement-by-statement refutation of claims made by prosecutors at those two hearings, including a claim at the July hearing that prosecutors “expect” to add evidence supporting one claim “at a later date.”

“Detaining Kitchens on the basis that ‘the state will file a notice [supposedly with reasons for detaining him]’ sometime in the future makes a mockery of the due process clause,” the star’s lawyers wrote. “The court may not detain someone on the basis the prosecution is developing its case and will present the evidence at some future undetermined time.”

Young Thug has also repeatedly been denied bond and is also currently awaiting trial in jail.