Georgia judge Thomas Peters caused controversy today by pardoning a group of white rappers who had been found guilty of murdering the hip hop genre. While the majority of American states enforce harsh punishments for such crimes, Georgia has stubbornly persisted with its refusal to enforce the humiliation penalty, usually administered by an enforced appearance on America’s Got Talent.
The original conviction followed an incident in 2007 when final year students at KKK University recorded an excruciatingly bad rap number in place of the customary graduation song. As one commentator said, while rap is not an exclusively black art form, science has shown that for every Eminem, there are approximately 598,467 white people that try to rap but can't.
In delivering the pardon, Judge Peters warned the group to avoid such problems in future by concentrating on safer forms of music. ‘I have to admit I prefer something with more of a tune, like the music I grew up with,’ he said. ‘Stick to proper white American music such as Led Zeppelin, and you won’t go far wrong.’
Peters’ comments drew further criticism from industry observers who noted that Zeppelin were not only limp-wristed Brits but also had allegedly stolen much of their material from black bluesmen, failing to pay royalties or even give credit when sometimes entire songs were ripped off.
The judge later rejected this criticism, saying that he had consulted with a colleague who had presided over the original robbery trial and had found the band totally innocent on all charges, and that if the so-called original composers had spent more time protecting their intellectual property instead of drinking and womanising, unlike Led Zeppelin, they might have avoided the problem.
‘Now if you’ll excuse me,’ said the judge, ‘I have other fish to fry. Lethal injection’s too good for ’em.’