Fani Willis’s Young Thug RICO tri­al opens in tur­moil

The long-await­ed tri­al of Jef­frey Williams, best known as Gram­my-win­ning rap­per Young Thug, began Mon­day with severe delays and an angered judge, mark­ing a tumul­tuous start to one of two high-pro­file rack­e­teer­ing cas­es being run con­cur­rent­ly out of Ful­ton Coun­ty, Geor­gia.
The chaot­ic tri­al start day fol­lows Dis­trict Attor­ney Fani Willis indict­ing Williams on gang-relat­ed charges under the Rack­e­teer Influ­enced and Cor­rupt Orga­ni­za­tions Act in May 2022.
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Williams and 27 oth­ers were hit with RICO Act vio­la­tions and dozens of oth­er felonies, includ­ing mur­der, armed rob­bery, and ille­gal pos­ses­sion of firearms.
The state’s RICO law, a prod­uct of the 1980s designed to address orga­nized crime, is a com­plex law that allows pros­e­cu­tors to map out a string of actions that illus­trate indi­vid­u­als worked togeth­er in an orga­nized man­ner, or as an “enter­prise,” to com­mit at least two crimes.
While it has been used in recent years to tar­get gangs and, in one case, pub­lic school offi­cial …