Mac Phipps: Was He Wrongfully Convicted And Imprisoned For Rap? : Louder Than A Riot Exploitation of prisoners. Sexual assault allegations. A Supreme Court ruling that could hold the keys to freedom. In the third and final installment of Mac's story, we follow the ripples of Mac's case two decades after the verdict was handed down. What do the roadblocks in Mac's fight for exoneration say about liberty and justice for all? And how does his imprisonment affect the loved ones he's left behind?
NPR logo Outsmarting The Devil: Mac Phipps (Pt 3)

Outsmarting The Devil: Mac Phipps (Pt 3)

Mac Phipps. Dale Edwin Murray for NPR hide caption

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Dale Edwin Murray for NPR

Mac Phipps.

Dale Edwin Murray for NPR

The jury's verdict was 10-2: guilty of manslaughter. In a Louisiana courtroom, No Limit rapper Mac Phipps was found guilty by a non-unanimous jury and sentenced to 30 years in prison for a shooting someone else had confessed to. Twenty years later, Mac is still fighting for his freedom. In the third and final installment of Mac's story, we follow the ripples of Mac's case in the decades since that verdict was handed down.

At the time of Mac's sentencing, Louisiana was one of only two states left in the country that allowed conviction by a non-unanimous jury. We explore how the racist roots of this law date back to Louisiana's 1898 constitutional convention, which served to "establish the supremacy of the white race." And we follow this lineage all the way up to corruption in St. Tammany Parish today and break down how a recent Supreme Court ruling could have the power to change Mac's fate.

Beyond Mac's case, we look into the history of independent rap labels being targeted by law enforcement — from No Limit Records to Murder Inc. to Rap-A-Lot Records — and we review where the use of rap lyrics in the courtroom stands today.

Finally, we sit down with the loved ones who await Mac's return and hear Mac's hopes for his future in the free world.

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