Defense lawyers in the obscenity trial of the rap group 2 Live Crew dropped their motion Wednesday to have the audiotape of the group's concert excluded from the trial.
The move meant jurors will be allowed to hear sexually explicit lyrics on the tape, however poor in quality, of the 45-minute concert. However, they will not be allowed to read transcripts.Defense lawyer Bruce Rogow asked Tuesday that the tapes be excluded from the trial, claiming prosecutors tampered with evidence when they had technicians try to reduce the static on the tape.
The band's attorney also asked for a mistrial Wednesday morning when one witness mentioned the concert for people of all ages that was held just before the adults-only Hollywood concert that got the band in trouble.
Both sides had agreed before the trial not to refer to the band's toned-down concert that preceded the adults-only version. Broward County Judge June Johnson said she would reserve judgment on that issue.
On Tuesday, Johnson ruled that jurors cannot have transcripts of the raucous adults-only concert last June that prompted the rappers' arrest and set up a legal test of the limits of free speech.
She also closed the trial to observers under age 18, to the disappointment of some fans. Sheriff's deputies are under orders to check IDs at the courtroom door.
"I listen to 2 Live Crew in the car and at home but now they say I can't listen to it in the courtroom," 13-year-old Lisette Lopez said after she and four friends were told to leave.
In San Antonio, a judge rejected attempts to dismiss an obscenity charge against a record store owner who sold 2 Live Crew's "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" album.
County Court-at-Law Judge Tony Jimenez balked at defense claims Tuesday that David Risher, owner of Hogwild Records and Tapes, was singled out for prosecution. Risher's trial is set for December.
2 Live Crew leader Luther Campbell and rappers Mark "Brother Marquis" Ross and Chris "Kid Ice" Wongwon are charged with obscenity for a June 10 concert at a Hollywood, Fla., nightclub.
The band and some free-speech advocates contend the prosecution is rooted in whites' misunderstanding of black culture or in animosity toward young blacks.