The YSL case which features star rapper Young Thug could be one of the longest trials in the history of Fulton County. Jury selection initially began on Jan. 4. But four months later, a jury has yet to be selected.
Since January, 1,200 jurors have been summoned. About 300 more jurors will be summoned on April 28 and a seventh group of jurors will report in May. As a result, the jury selection could extend to the summer with trial beginning sometime in June or July.
There are several issues that is causing the jury selection to last so long. The main issue is that many of the potential jurors have submitted a claim for hardship. The potential jurors are likely turned off by the high-profile nature of the rapper’s case and the possible length of the trial.
With over 300 potential witnesses, some expect the trial to last about nine months. As a result, potential jurors would need to commit to being available until the fall or winter of 2023.
Potential jurors will be questioned through a 37-page survey which asks questions such as, “Do You Listen To Rap,” and “Do You Believe Rap Lyrics Are Autobiographical.” Because rap lyrics are likely to be used as evidence against Young Thug during the trial, the prosecution and defense will likely ask jurors about their fondness or dislike for hip-hop. Potential biases against or in favor of hip-hop could be a factor when choosing the jury.
There has also been issues with conduct of potential jurors. In January, a potential juror reportedly skipped jury selection to go on vacation. Judge Ural Glanville told deputies that he wanted the juror to return to Atlanta and be placed in jail or his courtroom once she returned. Glanville punished the juror by forcing her to write a 30-page essay.
In April, another juror was sent to jail for three days for filming jury selection with a cell phone camera.
Incarcerated since May 2022, Young Thug was arrested along with fellow rapper Gunna and other members of YSL (Young Slime Life). They were charged with the RICO Act by Fulton County District Attorney, Fani Willis.