Jury Finally Seated For Atlanta Rapper Young Thug’s RICO Trial, 11 Months Later

A jury has finally been seated for the YSL RICO trial that centers around Young Thug. The jury selection, which started in January, took 11 months to complete. 

On Nov. 1, Judge Ural Glanville gave an ultimatum by stating that he needed to “swear a jury in today.” The process included 50 qualified jurors, but the defense and prosecution were able to choose 12 and six alternates by the afternoon. The entire process took nearly four hours. 

After months of issues, defense attorneys asked for a speedy trial which must be granted due to Georgia’s law. 

Young Thug and co-defendants have remained in jail since May 2022. His attorneys have asked for a bond on multiple occasions only to be denied. 

There are several issues that caused the jury selection to last so long. The main issue was that many of the potential jurors 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 summer of 2024.

Potential jurors were 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.

And two weeks ago, a juror who has a home in Cobb County, Georgia told the judge that he could serve on the jury because he often stayed with his mother who lives in Fulton County. 

Young Thug was arrested along with other members of YSL (Young Slime Life). They were charged with the RICO Act by Fulton County District Attorney, Fani Willis.

Young Thug says that YSL is a record label, not a gang. 


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