Following Gunna's sweeping gang indictment earlier this year, he recently accepted charges of racketeering conspiracy, which has now brought an end to his jail sentence. The news comes after he entered a plea deal that reduced the severity of the verdict, and the rest of the accused, including Young Thug, are yet to face trial for the charges.
The rapper clarified in a statement that his guilty plea should not be considered a way out by pointing out Young Thug and others as the main culprits. He stated that the plea is simply ending his RICO case and mentioned:
“When I became affiliated with YSL in 2016, I did not consider it a ‘gang’: more like a group of people from metro Atlanta who had common interests and artistic aspirations. My focus of YSL was entertainment – rap artists who wrote and performed music that exaggerated and ‘glorified’ urban life in the Black community.”
As part of the plea deal, Gunna must follow probation rules alongside a community service of 500 hours. While speaking to Complex, he said that he will use this experience to work for the welfare of his community and educate future generations about the negative impact of gangs and violence.
What is a plea deal? Meaning and types explained
A plea deal refers to a process where the prosecutor and defense negotiate an agreement, and the defendant takes responsibility for a lesser offense or one or more charges to reduce the original sentencing of the accusations.
According to supporters of the process, court proceedings can be finished faster if someone is confirmed to be convicted. However, a few others are of the opinion that the victims might not get justice. It is most common in criminal cases in the United States.
Negotiations leading to formal agreements are called explicit plea bargains, while the other kinds are known to be implicit plea bargains. The former is considered to be more important compared to the latter.
There are different types of plea bargains, which usually reduce the sentence. In the case of charge bargaining, the defendant takes the blame for the reduced charges. The second type is called count bargaining, where the defendant pleads for one or more charges and the prosecution drops the rest from the original charges.
In sentence bargaining, the defendant is given lighter or alternative verdicts in exchange for pleading guilty. Meanwhile, fact bargaining sees the defendant plead in exchange for the prosecutor's stipulation, where specific facts leading to the conviction are omitted to reduce one's charges.
The final form is plea negotiation, according to which individuals imposed with multiple charges have the option to plead guilty to fewer charges. Prosecutors can drop one or more charges in exchange for a guilty plea.
Gunna was arrested on RICO charges
Also known as Sergio Giavanni Kitchens, Gunna was arrested in May 2022 along with Young Thug. The duo was accused of violating the RICO act and participating in criminal street gang activity.
Before being arrested, the songwriter’s house was searched by the agents. The charges against Gunna were not revealed at the time, but Young Thug was confirmed to be in custody and taken to Fulton County.
Although Gunna's lawyers attempted to get him out on bond multiple times, their requests were rejected for fear that the evidence to prove the accusations might get tampered with. The last request was made on October 13, 2022.
Gunna is well-known for collaborating with record labels such as YSL Records, 300 Entertainment, and Atlantic Records. Moreover, he is popular for his albums like Drip or Drown 2, Wunna, DS4Ever, and more.