The Fulton County District Attorney is seeking to postpone the RICO trial against Young Thug and other alleged members of the Young Slime Life street gang by more than two months.
In a filing submitted Thursday, DA Fani Willis asked for the trial, currently scheduled to begin Jan. 9, to be delayed until March 27. The delay is described in the filing as necessary to ensure defendants “receive effective assistance of counsel.’”
What exactly IS effective assistance of counsel? Well, it is a right granted by the Sixth Amendment that guarantees that a criminal defendant must receive effective assistance of counsel. The purpose of this guarantee is to increase the fairness and likelihood of justice ultimately being reached in a criminal justice system that places private individuals and the government in an adversarial position. Willis argues the delay is necessary because eight of the 26 defendants in the RICO case still do not have defense counsel and “all defendants need to be tried together.” Willis further states that a postponement in the trial start date would “protect the rights” of all involved.
Young Thug, Gunna, and more than two dozen members of the Young Slime Life group have been in jail in Atlanta for the past five months on felony charges, including violations of the RICO statute, that could have them in prison for decades if they are convicted. Prosecutors say that YSL is a dangerous street gang responsible for a multitude of serious crimes. Here’s a quick overview on the RICO statue: RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a federal law that allows extended criminal penalties for “racketeering activity,” meaning actions taken as part of an ongoing criminal organization. Racketeering activity is defined as “any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical … which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment” by 18 U.S. Code § 1961. These regulations often become affiliated with political figures, profiteers, and persons of high corporate stature, i.e., management consultants, financial advisors, councilors, auditors, attorneys, real estate appraisers, entertainers etc.
Now back to the story. The rappers have been held without bond since being arrested in May, and their attorneys have sought their release on bond several times since. A late March trial would mean Young Thug, Gunna and the other defendants will have spent more than 10 months in jail without a conviction before the case goes to court. In September, Gunna filed his third bond motion. Gunna’s legal team argued that prosecutors have shown “no evidence” to support claims that their client should remain behind bars until trial.
The Source will continue to monitor this story for further updates.