Jurors begin to be questioned in YSL gang crime case

ATLANTA — There were tense moments inside a Fulton County courtroom Wednesday as prosecutors and defense attorneys clash over prospective jurors in the YSL gang case.

Hip-hop superstar Young Thug is on trial.

There are nearly 750 prospective jurors and on Wednesday, Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was inside the courtroom as attorneys heard from four of them.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys questioned the jurors about everything from their personal views about rap music and they even asked some about their feelings when it comes to tattoos.

Over the next month, jurors are expected to face questions like these:

  • “Do you have an opinion on people who have head and neck tattoos?”
  • “Do you believe rap lyrics are usually autobiographical?”
  • “Is your mind perfectly impartial between the state and the accused?”

In court Wednesday, Juror No. 1 spent more than an hour answering those questions and more.

At one point, he told the judge that after reading the indictment in its entirety, he believes the state has a strong case, adding that they have enough evidence to get a guilty conviction.


But Judge Ural Glanville stepped in, making it clear that the indictment is not evidence.

Juror No. 1: “There was so much evidence, I guess that its hard to not, I guess, be impartial.”

Judge: “So, you know you haven’t heard any evidence in this case?” Glanville said.

Juror No. 1: “OK, I guess from what I’ve heard…”

Judge: “And you know that is not considered to be evidence at this point?”

Attorneys also heard from Juror No. 13, the wife of a pastor who condemned hip-hop music and told the judge that she watches a lot of news and believes that YSL stands for Young Slime Life, a criminal street gang.

Defense lawyers argued that YSL is a record label called Young Stoner Life.

Defense Lawyer: “Is there anything that would keep from listening to the law, that the court gives to you, and hearing evidence presented in this courtroom, from making a determination as each defendant faces, solely on the evidence you see and hear in the law that the court gives to you?”

Juror No. 13: “I don’t believe so.”

Defense Lawyer: “When you hear YSL in the context of not the designer, do you have a negative, positive or neutral perception of those three letters?”

Juror No. 13: “I’m going to say neutral just because I’m aware of the negative side of it but I also know that other people have other opinions about it.

The jury selection process could take at least a month.