HEADNOTE: Hannah v. State, No. 151, September Term, 2009
EVIDENCE; CROSS-EXAMINATION; IMPEACHMENT OF A CRIMINAL
DEFENDANT WITH “RAP” LYRICS WRITTEN BY THE DEFENDANT THAT
DESCRIBE ACTS OF VIOLENCE:
The trial court does not have discretion to permit cross-examination that is harassing, unfairly prejudicial, confusing, or unduly repetitive. In the case at bar, the Circuit Court abused its discretion by permitting the State to cross examine Petitioner about each and every one of ten violent “rap” lyrics that Petitioner hadwritten. As the ten “Your lyrics?” questions served no purpose other than the purpose ofshowing that Petitioner has a propensity for violence, he is entitled to a new trial.