Young Thug’s YSL RICO Trial Begins Next Week


After a 10-month long jury selection process, opening statements in Young Thug’s YSL RICO trial will begin next week.

Young Thug’s YSL RICO Trial Begins Next Week

Starting on Monday (Nov. 27), opening statements will begin in the YSL racketeering trial of Young Thug in Atlanta. Thugger, born Jeffery Lamar Williams, is charged with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and gang laws, among other things. The embattled rapper was indicted last year along with more than two dozen other people, five of whom are set to stand trial with him.

Thug and his co-defendants face charges of conspiring to murder, armed robbery and participating in criminal street gang activity. Prosecutors in Fulton County, Ga., are accusing YSL of being a front for a violent street gang that has allegedly wreaked havoc on the city for over half a decade. Thug is described as the kingpin and co-founding member of YSL, which stands for Young Stoner Life.

After 10 months, the jury selection process was completed in mid-November. The jury consists of 12 people—seven Black women, two White women, two Black men and one white man.

The trial is projected to last up to a year and will likely include testimony from a number of high-profile music industry figures. The state’s witness list includes 258 lay witnesses and 479 professional expert witnesses, according to 11Alive.

Read More: Young Thug New Photo in Court Leads Fans to Comment on His Weight Gain

Song Lyrics Will Be Used Against Young Thug and Codefedants in YSL Trial

Earlier this month, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville ruled that the rap lyrics of Young Thug and his codefendants can be taken into consideration as evidence in their racketeering trial. According to documents obtained by XXL, the judge has conditionally allowed 17 songs and their lyrics to be admitted as evidence, but only if prosecutors provide a foundation to use them. This ruling has brought focus on the use of rap lyrics as evidence in court cases.

According to Billboard, the decision to use song lyrics as evidence was ruled the day after a heated hearing between the prosecution and the defense. The practice of using song lyrics as evidence has been widely criticized by the music industry and lawmakers, who have made efforts to ban it. During the contested hearing Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, slammed prosecutors for trying to use creative expression to convict his client.

“They are targeting the right to free speech, and that’s wrong,” Steel reportedly said. “They are saying that just because he is singing about it, he is now part of a crime.”

Despite the judge’s decision, Thug’s attorney said in a statement to XXL that his client is ready for trial.

“Jeffery Williams looks forward to the commencement of the trial on November 27, 2023,” Steel said.

Read More: Why These 25 Rappers Are in Jail or Prison Right Now

Watch the jury being finalized ahead of Young Thug’s YSL RICO trial below.

Watch 11Alive’s Report on Jury Selection Finalized for Young Thug, YSL Trial

See 19 Bizarre Moments in the YSL RICO Trial