”I Shot The Sheriff!”

… but i did’nt shoot no deputy…

this is an interesting court decision about whether an artist’s work, in this case a rap song, is admissible as evidence that the artist did what they are accused of doing… Muadhdhin Bey-Cousin, a rapper, maintains he was wrongly arrested, convicted and jailed… he is suing for damages… counsel defending the officers are(is?) trying to submit song lyrics as evidence of a truthful depiction of the incidents that led to his arrest… the judge ruled that artistic product cannot be used to determine truth or falsehood of a question at issue, since the very nature of art is to embellish on experience to transform it into something transcendent… therefore, there is a high burden on the part of those wishing to submit art content as evidence that there is strong reason to believe the artwork in question is factual and not embellished…

… among the examples cited was the Bob Marley song that is the title of this post…

… from the decision:

As a society, we have decided to encourage free expression in all its forms. The Court will not adopt a rule that might undermine that goal. It therefore adopts a rule that presumes that artists tell stories, even when they draw inspiration from reality. Officers Cherry and Powell have not overcome that burden, so the Court will grant Mr. Bey-Cousin’s Motion and preclude evidence of his lyrics…1


  1. Wolson, Judge Joshua, Bey-Cousin v. Powell, via Reason.com [return]

2021.06.10.04

Bob Marley and the Whalers

… we play an album of Whalers music during dinner which leads to a conversation about the connections we have not been able to make with black people… we have tried hard not to be racist, largely are not, accept that we have benefited from a racist system, but wish we could connect better with the black people we know…