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Offline Bakes

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Re: Buju to be re-indicted before grand jury
« Reply #120 on: October 15, 2010, 08:55:29 PM »
Dais why we have you here to explain thing  :angel:   :beermug:

Lol... well, this is an immigration hearing, which is an Administrative hearing, not a legal one.  Technically it is related to the criminal case since the visa was revoked after the arrest, but in reality it's a separate proceeding.

Offline Tallman

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February retrial for Buju
« Reply #121 on: November 02, 2010, 12:33:42 PM »
February retrial for Buju
Jamaica Observer


REGGAE singer Buju Banton's desire to spend time with his family before round two of his cocaine and weapons possession trial in a Florida court has resulted in the retrial being rescheduled for next February.

Banton's second trial was supposed to start in December after the first ended with a hung jury in September, but his legal team last week filed a motion in the Sam M Gibbons federal court for a postponement so the Jamaican artiste could post bond to be with his family.

"Buju really wants to spend some time with his family before the next trial," lead attorney Oscar David Markus told the Observer yesterday. "Hopefully this will give him a little breather before round two."

The motion was yesterday granted by United States District Judge James Moody. A specific date for the retrial was not set.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is accused of conspiring to buy five kilogrammes of cocaine from an undercover officer in Sarasota, Florida. He was arrested last December after the arrest of two other men, Ian Thomas and James Mack, who later pleaded guilty. They will be sentenced this month.

The artiste was charged along with the men for possession of a firearm during the furtherance of a crime. The gun was actually in Mack's possession.

Banton was granted US$250,000 bail last month but wrangling between his legal team and the prosecution is preventing him from taking up the bail, which would see him being placed under immediate house arrest.

The prosecution is now in the process of appealing a decision by the court to allow Banton to hire two security firms, whose officers would be at Banton's home 24 hours per day to ensure that he adheres to the conditions of his house arrest. As part of the conditions, Banton can only leave home to purchase medication, attend court and see his attorney. Banton will also have to wear an electronic tracking device.

After clearing this hurdle, Banton will have to seek bond in the immigration court in order to be released, as his entertainment visa was revoked following his arrest.
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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #122 on: December 02, 2010, 08:30:52 PM »
Buju gets permission to perform

FLORIDA, United States, Thursday December 2, 2010 – Fans will get to see reggae superstar Buju Banton perform at the ‘Before The Dawn’ concert early in the New Year, the first chance since his arrest on drug charges.

This after US Judge James Moody yesterday overturned last month’s decision by Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli who denied Buju’s request to perform at a December 26th show. The show, named after the album which the singer released while he was in prison in September, has been rescheduled for January 16th and will be held at the Bay Front Amphitheatre in downtown Miami.

In his ruling, Moody said the argument that Buju (real name Mark Myrie) is a flight risk cannot stand as a reason for him not to attend the concert since that matter was addressed when the singer was released on US$250,000 bail in November.

Under the conditions of the bail that was granted almost a year after his arrest on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting two others in possessing a firearm during the course of distribution, Buju has to pay for a 24-hour security detail – which his lawyers say cost US$20,000 per month – wear an electronic monitor and take drug tests.

He is generally restricted to his home except to attend court, meet with his lawyers, seek medical care, or if he is granted the court’s permission to leave otherwise.

Offline Tallman

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Big blow for Buju
« Reply #123 on: February 02, 2011, 10:06:14 AM »
Big blow for Buju
By Arthur Hall (Jamaica Gleaner)


Days before he faces retrial in a United States court, dancehall star Buju Banton has been dealt a severe blow.

United States District Judge James Moody Jr has dismissed a motion filed by lawyers representing Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, seeking to throw out a superseding indictment filed by prosecutors.

This means that when Buju faces the court again, starting February 14, he will be answering five charges instead of the two that he faced in his first trial.

Efforts to contact Buju's lawyer, David Markus, were unsuccessful yesterday, but legal officials in the US agreed that while Buju could still beat the charges, he now has a more difficult mountain to climb.

When he was first arrested in December 2009, Buju was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and aiding and abetting his two co-defendants in knowingly and intentionally possessing a firearm during the course of a drug offence.

The jury was unable to agree ona verdict and the case ended in a mistrial.

Last November, US prosecutors obtained a superseding indictment against Buju which added two additional counts and modified the gun charge.

Lawyers representing Buju rushed to court seeking a dismissal of the superseding indictment, alleging vindictiveness on the part of the prosecutors because of the mistrial and the defence's attempts to get the charges dismissed.

"The court should presume that the new charges and modification were added by the government in retaliation for (the defendant) exercising his constitutional rights," Buju's lawyers argued.

But the prosecutors hit back: "As long as the prosecutor has probable cause to believe the accused has committed a crime, the courts have no authority to interfere with a prosecutor's decision to prosecute."

Judge differs

In his ruling, Moody sided with the prosecution.

"The court concludes that, even assuming, for the purpose of argument, that (the) defendant made a threshold showing that his exercise of pretrial rights was followed by charges of increased severity, (the) defendant is not entitled to a presumption of prosecutorial vindictiveness."

Moody added: "The United States' initial indictment did not foreclose it from bringing further charges against the defendant."

In the meantime, there was some good news for Buju on Monday as a judge upheld his request to have the two men initially charged with him appear in court to give evidence during his retrial.

Buju had asked the court that Ian Thomas and James Mack, his two co-accused, be taken from the jail where they are being held and made available to give testimony.

Thomas and Mack have already pleaded guilty to the charges and are awaiting sentencing. They did not testify during the original trial.
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Offline warmonga

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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #124 on: February 02, 2011, 11:31:39 AM »
Buju is an ass. yu cya fight america justice system once yu hate battyman. tek di plea bargain Buju..tek it.. tek yu 5 years and come out.. we guh still love yu..

war
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Offline Trini _2026

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Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #125 on: February 10, 2011, 07:22:51 AM »
Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges

BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Co-ordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Print this page Email A Friend!

JAMAICAN reggae artiste Buju Banton will be facing four charges instead of two when he goes on retrial in a US federal court next Monday. Judge James Moody yesterday afternoon dismissed a motion by Banton seeking to have the new indictment thrown out.

"...We are going to trial on Monday on the new charges. That's okay. We are ready," attorney David Oscar Markus told the Observer yesterday.

BANTON… returns to court Monday
[Hide Description] BANTON… returns to court Monday
[Restore Description]
1/1

The four-time Grammy nominated artiste whose real name is Mark Myrie, had originally been tried last September on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offence.

Banton will now be tried for:

* conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine;

* attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine;

* possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence; and

* using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence.

The prosecution had secured the new indictment with an additional two counts last November after Banton's first trial ended with a hung jury in September.

Banton is to be tried in the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa, Florida. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years' imprisonment.

Banton was arrested in December 2009 as part of a sting operation following the arrests of two men, Ian Thomas and James Mack, in Florida and was slapped with the drug and weapon charges. The men, who pleaded guilty to the charges last year are expected to testify during Banton's second trial. They did not participate in the previous trial.

The second trial was to have started last December but was postponed so Banton, who is on US$250,000 bail and is subjected to house arrest, could spend time with his family.


Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Big-blow-for--Buju-_8347046#ixzz1DYuEyeOo
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Offline Bakes

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #126 on: February 10, 2011, 10:37:04 AM »
I'm even more skeptical of the prosecution proving these new charges.

Offline jahkingdom

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #127 on: February 13, 2011, 05:09:32 PM »
Hard work is the key to success

Offline Socapro

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #128 on: February 13, 2011, 08:07:11 PM »
Buju wins best reggae album

http://www.grammy.com/nominees?year=2010&genre=29

Is that really the best reggae album for 2010 or did Buju draw the sympathy vote as he has this case to deal with?
Must admire the patriotism of Jamaicans who decided to vote for Buju based upon the his situation and seeing that he needed the maximum possible support.
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)

Offline Bakes

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #129 on: February 13, 2011, 08:15:20 PM »
Buju wins best reggae album

http://www.grammy.com/nominees?year=2010&genre=29

Is that really the best reggae album for 2010 or did Buju draw the sympathy vote as he has this case to deal with?
Must admire the patriotism of Jamaicans who decided to vote for Buju based upon the his situation and seeing that he needed the maximum possible support.

Fans can't vote though... and I doubt Academy members would have that much sympathy for him for it to color their votes.  More likely is that his label bought favors... I have a very cynical view of these award shows.

Offline soccerman

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #130 on: February 13, 2011, 09:24:46 PM »
Buju wins best reggae album

http://www.grammy.com/nominees?year=2010&genre=29

Is that really the best reggae album for 2010 or did Buju draw the sympathy vote as he has this case to deal with?
Must admire the patriotism of Jamaicans who decided to vote for Buju based upon the his situation and seeing that he needed the maximum possible support.

Fans can't vote though... and I doubt Academy members would have that much sympathy for him for it to color their votes.  More likely is that his label bought favors... I have a very cynical view of these award shows.

Yea lot's of entertainers and even actors with the Emmy's or Academy awards say it's highly political. But good for Buju though, at least it's something positive for him in the midst of everything he's going through.

Offline Blue

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #131 on: February 22, 2011, 02:36:46 PM »
http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/02/22/buju-banton-found-guilty-in-drug-case/?mod=google_news_blog

Buju Banton, a popular Jamaican reggae singer, has been found guilty of drug charges by a Florida jury. Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was accused of setting up a drug deal in 2009 with two other men. Banton was charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, among other counts. His first trial ended in a deadlocked jury.  Banton’s album “Before the Dawn” won the Grammy for best reggae album earlier this month.


Offline Quags

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #132 on: February 22, 2011, 02:57:58 PM »
 :o ,say what every black man getting it these days ..., lets see ja rule going in soon ,TI ,Wesley Snipes,lil wayne,my boi Scarface ,

Offline Dutty

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #133 on: February 22, 2011, 03:18:02 PM »
http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/02/22/buju-banton-found-guilty-in-drug-case/?mod=google_news_blog

Buju Banton, a popular Jamaican reggae singer, has been found guilty of drug charges by a Florida jury. Banton,

damn......didnt see that comming
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Offline Bakes

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #134 on: February 22, 2011, 06:09:33 PM »
http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/02/22/buju-banton-found-guilty-in-drug-case/?mod=google_news_blog

Buju Banton, a popular Jamaican reggae singer, has been found guilty of drug charges by a Florida jury. Banton,

damn......didnt see that comming

yeah... that is very surprising.  Trial over quick too.

Offline STEUPS!!

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #135 on: February 22, 2011, 06:30:57 PM »
when is sentencing? 
 :'(
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Offline Andre

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Re: Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges
« Reply #136 on: February 23, 2011, 08:31:38 AM »
what de jail these artist is be tinking?

Offline Tallman

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Buju's co-accused gets 51 months
« Reply #137 on: May 06, 2011, 11:37:54 AM »
Buju's co-accused gets 51 months
By Paul Henry (Jamaica Observer)


IAN Thomas, the co-accused of convicted Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton, was yesterday sentenced to 51 months' imprisonment in a federal court in Tampa, Florida.

The sentence was more than the 18 months that Thomas had requested in court documents last week for co-operating with the prosecution against Banton.

"Mr Thomas requests that the court deem a sentence of 18 months more than reasonable in this case," according to the papers filed in the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court last Friday.

Yesterday's sentence follows Banton's conviction in the said court in February on charges of conspiracy to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine, possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence.

The Grammy award-winning artiste was acquitted of a fourth charge of attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is to be sentenced on June 23. He faces upwards of 15 years in prison.

Thomas, who is a long-time friend of Banton, was arrested in an undercover operation in a warehouse in Florida along with a man by the name of James Mack in December 2009. Banton was arrested hours later at his south Florida home. Both Thomas and Mack pleaded guilty on the charges against them. They were scheduled to give evidence in Banton's trial but were not called.

Although Thomas did not give evidence in court, his briefing, according to the court document filed last Friday, has tremendously benefited the prosecution. Thomas said in the filing that he did not stand to benefit from any sale of cocaine and that his only function was to seek a buyer for the cocaine that the Government's confidential source had presented.

"After consideration of the factors enumerated... this court should find that a sentence below the advisory guideline range is sufficient but not greater than the necessary to achieve the purposes of sentencing," said the document.
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Offline FireBrand

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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #138 on: June 23, 2011, 10:10:55 AM »
Buju Banton Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
By: Mitch Stacy, Associated Press


Despite pleas for leniency from family members, fans and supporters, a federal judge sentenced Grammy-winning reggae singer Buju Banton on Thursday to 10 years in prison Thursday for conspiring to set up a cocaine deal.

Banton was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense.

Dozens of letters to U.S. District Judge James S. Moody are included in the court file for the 37-year-old recording artist, whose given name is Mark Myrie. Several of his 15 children wrote, as did a former Jamaican government official, an NBA player, other reggae artists and actor Danny Glover, who called Banton a "role model, philanthropist and spiritual leader in the community."

"Your honor, Mark Myrie is not a drug dealer," Glover wrote. "Society would not benefit from his incarceration."

Banton's attorney, David Markus, says federal sentencing guidelines call for a prison term of at least 15 years. In a court filing, Markus told Moody that is "way more than necessary" in Banton's case.

The judge did throw out a gun charge, lowering Banton's sentence from 15 years to 10. He was also ordered to serve five years of probation following his release from prison.

Markus contended that Banton deserved a lower sentence because of his limited participation in the drug buy, his charitable work in Jamaica and his otherwise clean record.

Banton's oldest son, also named Mark Myrie, wrote that his father "puts hard work, sweat and tears into his music and that is what (he) `puts on the table,' it has never been drugs....The situation is just an example of our mere imperfections as people, being at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Preston argued during trial that Banton portrayed himself as a broker of drug deals in several conversations with a confidential informant. Preston said Banton thought he was getting involved in a "no-risk" deal in which he would introduce a friend to a confidential informant and then collect money from drug transactions.

Prosecutors acknowledge that Banton did not put any money into the drug deal nor did he ever profit from it. Markus characterized his client as "a big talker" who admitted to trying to impress the confidential informant but wasn't involved in any drug deal.

Much of the case hinged on meetings and phone calls that were video- and audiotaped by the informant, who was working with the Drug Enforcement Administration - and who made $50,000 in commission after the bust.

In one video, Banton could be seen tasting cocaine in a Sarasota warehouse on Dec. 8, 2009. But he was not present during the actual drug deal on Dec. 10 that led two others to be arrested. Those two men later pleaded guilty.

Banton testified that the informant badgered him after they met on a trans-Atlantic flight in July 2009 and insisted they meet to set up a cocaine purchase. He said he was so uninterested in the informant's proposals that after they met twice, Banton didn't return the man's phone calls for months.

Banton remains wildly popular in Jamaica, and his trial - his second over the drug accusations - was packed with supporters that included other well-known reggae artists. The first trial ended in a mistrial last year after the jury deadlocked.

Shortly before his conviction in February, he won a Grammy for best reggae album for his work entitled "Before the Dawn."

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Offline Bakes

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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #139 on: June 23, 2011, 12:39:56 PM »
I was stunned when I woke up to this news!  Sad, but if you want to dance to the music you have to pay the piper.

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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #140 on: June 23, 2011, 03:03:05 PM »
He shoulda let Lindsey or Pariss carry de stash for he.
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Offline jahkingdom

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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #141 on: June 23, 2011, 03:25:23 PM »
he could be out in 6 years. i thought the minimum he was going to get was 15 to 25 years. buju will become even a bigger legend when  release.





Buju Banton gets lowest sentence legally allowed
2011-06-23 11:53:24 | (13 Comments)



Buju Banton.TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge sentenced Grammy-winning reggae singer Buju Banton to 10 years in prison Thursday, the lowest sentence legally allowed for his role in a large cocaine trafficking deal in 2009.

The 38-year-old Jamaican recording artist got a break when U.S. District Judge James S. Moody threw out a gun conviction, which would have added another five years to the minimum sentence. Banton's attorney, David Markus, said with time already served and good behavior, he could be out in six years.

In a statement he wrote after the sentencing, Banton — whose given name is Mark Myrie — thanked family, fans and supporters from around the world who flooded the court file with letters of support.

"The days that lie ahead are filled with despair, but I have courage and grace and I'm hopeful, and that is sufficient to carry me through," he said in the statement, which was read by Markus. "The man is not dead. Don't call him a ghost."

Banton, dressed in gray jail scrubs and shackled at the ankles, did not speak in court and did not react when Moody announced the sentence. The tall, thin, dreadlocked singer blew a kiss and waved to his subdued supporters as he was led away.

A jury found him guilty in February of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense. Moody threw out the gun charge, acknowledging that Banton had no idea others involved in the conspiracy were carrying guns, which was the basis for the charge. He was not convicted of carrying a weapon himself.

Markus contended that Banton deserved a lower sentence because of his limited participation in the drug buy, his charitable work in Jamaica and his otherwise clean record.

But prosecutor James Preston argued for a longer term, contending that the cocaine deal would not have gone down without Banton's participation. Moody agreed that Banton's participation was key to the deal but declined to increase the sentence.

Preston acknowledged it was a sad day for Banton's fans but noted the distinction between the joyful reggae artist Buju Banton and the drug dealer Mark Myrie.

"He has brought this sadness to these people," Preston said in court, acknowledging Banton's supporters who filled the gallery. Preston declined to comment afterward.

Preston argued during trial that Banton portrayed himself as a broker of drug deals in several conversations with a confidential informant. Preston said Banton thought he was getting involved in a "no-risk" deal in which he would introduce a friend to a confidential informant and then collect money from drug transactions.

Prosecutors acknowledged that Banton did not put any money into the drug deal nor did he ever profit from it. Markus characterized his client as "a big talker" who admitted to trying to impress the confidential informant but wasn't involved in any drug deal.

Much of the case hinged on meetings and phone calls that were video- and audiotaped by the informant, who was working with the Drug Enforcement Administration — and who made $50,000 in commission after the bust.

In one video, Banton could be seen tasting cocaine in a Sarasota warehouse on Dec. 8, 2009. But he was not present during the actual drug deal on Dec. 10 that led two others to be arrested. Those two men later pleaded guilty.

Banton testified that the informant badgered him after they met on a trans-Atlantic flight in July 2009 and insisted they meet to set up a cocaine purchase. He said he was so uninterested in the informant's proposals that after they met twice, Banton didn't return the man's phone calls for months.

Markus said he plans to appeal.

"This fight is not over," Markus said. "We will keep fighting for him. Mark Myrie is my brother, and I'm going to keep fighting until they tell me to stop."

Among the dozens of letters of support in the court file were those from several of Banton's 15 children wrote, a Jamaican government official, an NBA player, other reggae artists and actor Danny Glover, who called Banton a "role model, philanthropist and spiritual leader in the community."

"Your honor, Mark Myrie is not a drug dealer," Glover wrote. "Society would not benefit from his incarceration."

Banton's oldest son, also named Mark Myrie, wrote that his father "puts hard work, sweat and tears into his music and that is what (he) 'puts on the table,' it has never been drugs....The situation is just an example of our mere imperfections as people, being at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Banton remains wildly popular in Jamaica, and his trial — his second over the drug accusations — was packed with supporters that included other well-known reggae artists. The first trial ended in a mistrial last year after the jury deadlocked.

Shortly before his conviction in February, he won a Grammy for best reggae album for his work entitled "Before the Dawn."

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Offline Brownsugar

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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #142 on: June 23, 2011, 05:46:23 PM »
uuuuuuummmm......Buju just pray men in de prison doh remember yuh infamous song..... :whistling:
"...If yuh clothes tear up
Or yuh shoes burst off,
You could still jump up when music play.
Old lady, young baby, everybody could dingolay...
Dingolay, ay, ay, ay ay,
Dingolay ay, ay, ay..."

RIP Shadow....The legend will live on in music...

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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #143 on: June 24, 2011, 12:57:30 AM »
The difference between the possible and
the impossible lies in a person determination.

Your Knowledge is directly related to your potential income.
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Offline Tallman

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Juror misconduct investigation in Buju Banton case expands
« Reply #144 on: January 07, 2013, 05:15:00 PM »
Juror misconduct investigation in Buju Banton case expands
By Elaine Silvestrini (The Tampa Tribune)


A federal judge is expanding his investigation into allegations of juror misconduct in the drug trial of reggae star Buju Banton.

U.S. District Judge James Moody today ordered U.S. marshals to seize computers belonging to jury forewoman Terri Wright so a defense expert can see whether Internet research was conducted during the trial.

The judge also plans to hold a second hearing on the issue and subpoena the remaining jurors.

The jury in the Banton case – as is common in all jury trials – was told to refrain from conducting outside research and to judge the case solely on evidence introduced in the courtroom and the legal instructions given by the judge.

Convictions have been overturned before because of jurors' Internet activity, but one expert who researches juror misconduct said he has never heard of a judge going as far as ordering the seizure of a juror's computer and subpoenaing an entire jury.

"That's pretty far out," said Bennett L. Gersham, a professor at Pace Law School in New York. "It reflects the gravity of the situation and the dangers at work here."

Gersham said that if the judge determines Wright violated his orders then lied about it under oath, she could face charges of contempt of court or even perjury.

Charles Rose, a professor at Stetson University School of Law, said everyone is used to having access to information at the tips of their fingers and they bring those expectations into the courtroom.

"While the judges will order what you call digital sequestration of the jury, those orders are routinely being violated," Rose said. "I think it's almost ubiquitous at this point."

Gersham agreed that it's likely common.

Consequently, he said, Moody's investigation may help curb future jurors from violating court directives by signaling the courts take the offense seriously.

"The potential for this type of behavior is enormous," Gersham said. "Maybe you need to do this to send a message to jurors to resist the temptation to do their own outside research."

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for two drug offenses. The Grammy winner faces an additional five years on a related gun possession charge.

Wright told a reporter for a South Florida newspaper that she researched the case.

"I would get in the car, just write my notes down so I could remember, and I would come home and do the research," Wright said in response to a question about whether she did her research during or after the trial.

Wright and three other jurors were called to testify at a hearing before Moody last month, and Wright insisted her research had been conducted only after the case was over.

Wright testified she researched Banton's music and the federal Pinkerton rule, which involves liability among conspirators for the actions of other conspirators.

Two of the other jurors testified that they had not heard anything about fellow jurors doing research during the trial. But one said she recalled a white woman juror saying she had researched the Pinkerton law. Wright is black.

Before the Internet was widely available, Rose said, jury misconduct arose as an issue mostly in organized crime cases involving allegations of jury tampering.

"It is very uncommon and it is a distinctive occasion that a judge has more than probable cause to believe that this juror did something inappropriate that impacted on the verdict,"

Rose said, "It's only been with the advent of the Internet that we can tell when the jurors don't follow the judge's instructions on the law. Before we accepted the fiction they did."

The U.S. Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting the case, declined comment on the latest developments.

One of Banton's attorneys, Imhotep Alkebu-lan, said what Judge Moody has ordered "is a very big deal. …I'm taking it as an indication that the court still has questions about Wright's credibility and whether there were other jurors who violated the court's admonition."

Banton's trial lawyer, David Oscar Markus said, "The jury was 10-2 for not guilty until one juror committed serious misconduct. I'm thankful that Judge Moody will make sure justice is served."

If Banton wins the motion, he could get what would be his third trial in the case. The first trial ended when jurors were unable to agree whether to convict the singer.

But it's possible the case could be resolved without another trial. During the telephone conference, Moody asked the lawyers if they had discussed the possibility of resolving the pending issues, according to the court's minutes of the conference.

Alkebu-Ian said plea negotiations are a possibility and that the defense lawyers would pursue "whatever is in Mr. Myrie's best interest."

He said the defense would be willing to discuss a guilty plea to a lesser charge that would allow the singer to be released from prison.
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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #145 on: February 20, 2013, 01:55:32 PM »
Juror's testimony puts new spin on Buju trial

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Juror-s-testimony-puts-new-spin-on-Buju-trial_13676822#ixzz2LTGKPZLj

A juror who sat on the 2011 drug trial in which reggae star Buju Banton was convicted, testified yesterday that the reported misconduct by foreman Teri Wright was discussed in the jury room.
 
Banton's attorney Chukwe Lumumba told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that eight jurors who were sequestered for Banton's second drug-related trial gave conflicting evidence about Wright's alleged misconduct.

"One juror said he knew nothing about what Wright did but another threw a spanner in the works after he said it was discussed in the jury room. Everything still hangs in the air," Lumumba said.
 
Banton's fate still hangs in the balance as other members of the 12-member jury gave contradicting evidence about possible misconduct by Wright, who allegedly told a reporter that she had breached a judge's order to not research any aspect of law relating to the deejay's case.
 
A juror misconduct hearing was held in the US Sam Gibbons Court in Tampa, Florida yesterday, as judge James Moody tries to ascertain whether the artiste was unfairly tried after Wright reportedly breached his orders.
 
Wright allegedly told a Florida-based journalist that she researched aspects of the case whenever she left court after each day of the trial. If the allegation is true, her action would be a direct violation of Moody's orders.
 
Yesterday, Lumumba said Wright had turned up in court with her computer hard drive and that Moody had ordered that a computer specialist, hired by Banton, scour it for any evidence that she had violated his order.
 
Banton is also facing an additional five-year sentence related to a gun charge that was brought against him after his failed bid in an Atlanta Appellate Court to have his 10-year sentence overturned.
 
A three-member panel of judges ruled that he be sentenced to five years for a firearm that was found in the possession of co-conspirators James Mack and Ian Thomas when they attempted to purchase 25 kilogrammes of cocaine from undercover cops in a Government-controlled warehouse in Tampa.
 
Thomas and Mack both pleaded guilty to that charge but Banton was not present when they attempted to buy the contraband.
 
The reggae icon has consistently maintained that he was entrapped by the US Government and was sentenced even though a Drug Enforcement Agent testified during his first trial in September 2010 that there was no evidence that he had ever been involved in illicit drug dealing.
 
"We have no idea when the next court day will be," Lumumba told the Observer.
 
This means Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, will have to languish in a Tampa jail until the judge makes his ruling.
 
Banton faced two trials before being declared guilty, and his legal team is hoping that he will be afforded a new trial or have his conviction thrown out based on the allegations of misconduct on Wright's part.


Offline Tallman

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Another day in court for Buju Banton
« Reply #146 on: April 04, 2013, 08:16:18 PM »
Another day in court for Buju Banton
rjrnewsonline.com


The United States District Court of Florida has agreed to review the Defendant's Exhibit introduced at a December 20, 2012 hearing for imprisoned international reggae artiste Buju Banton after his lawyers submitted documents hoping to prove that a juror tendered a different computer to investigators and not  the one she used to carry out research related to the trial.

Terri Wright, the juror , had revealed in an interview that she researched the case during the trial.

An expert retained by  attorneys representing Buju Banton found a trail of 1.6 million internet history records but none pertained to the time frame under scrutiny, February 14 to March 8, 2011.However, on Monday Buju's side renewed its attack, claiming Wright surrendered the wrong computer hard drive.   

In documents filed on March 31 by Chokwe Lumumba, the attorney for the Grammy winning artiste , he contended that Wright did not comply with the court's order to provide the computer hard drive on which she did her internet research as she testified at the December 20, 2012 hearing.

The lawyers pointed to a March 26, 2013 Tampa Bay Times news article which quoted Wright's attorney Lori Palmieri as saying her client only had one computer. "It was a laptop and she brought it, end of story but not their story” said Palmieri.

But in a March 28, 2013 report, computer forensic expert Larry Daniel said he examined the hard drive provided by Wright according to the Court order.

“The hard drive delivered to me for forensic imaging was a full size hard drive from a desktop or tower computer,” he said.

According to the legal team it must be concluded from this conflict in facts that Wright did not produce her lone laptop computer hard drive and instead provided the Court with some other desktop hard drive.

The lawyers say this explains why the computer hard drive provided by Wright had no internet use during the time period in question.   

Based on this, the prosecution was  granted a motion to review the report from the computer forensic expert. Buju Banton whose given name is Mark Myrie  was convicted of trying to set up a deal to buy 11 pounds of cocaine and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #147 on: April 04, 2013, 11:21:52 PM »
Juror misconduct so hard to prove... if this is true I hope he gets a new trial.

Offline kounty

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Re: Buju banton locked up
« Reply #148 on: April 05, 2013, 06:21:06 AM »
well boy. I could well imagine the hard tunes that buju goh release when he come out. Blaze up Babylon!

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Buju Banton Thread
« Reply #149 on: July 02, 2013, 11:44:45 AM »
Buju Banton Is One Charge Away From Emancipation Thanks to New Times

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-07-04/news/buju-banton-gun-charge-thrown-out/

Based on New Times' reporting, a federal judge in Tampa last week tossed out one of two convictions that sent reggae giant Buju Banton to prison in 2011. The decision — which hinged on juror misconduct dug up by the newspaper — is just the latest plot twist since the Grammy Award winner was rounded up in a government drug sting four years ago. It also opens the way for an appeal.

The news was bittersweet for the 39-year-old star and his camp. "He was disappointed that he wasn't granted a retrial on all counts," Banton's attorney, Imhotep Alkebu-lan, tells New Times. "He's still on the hook for ten years.

Banton — born Mark Anthony Myrie — was one of the most important voices to come out of Jamaica since Bob Marley. He was repeatedly nominated for Grammy Awards and gained international infamy as a homophobe after releasing the song "Boom Bye Bye," which was allegedly about murdering gay men. He later renounced hate speech.

His career was cut short December 8, 2009, when an acquaintance delivered him to a Sarasota warehouse hot-wired for government surveillance. Once inside, the singer stood by while two men discussed the sale of cocaine and examined 20 kilos of the narcotic. Two days later, Banton and two other men were arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense.

As a February 2012 New Times feature, "Buju Behind Bars," showed, Banton was no kingpin. He had fallen under the sway of a sweet-talking government snitch named Alexander "Junior" Johnson. Busted for smuggling 700 kilos of coke into the United States in the 1990s, the Colombian native reinvented himself as confidential informant who set up criminals using a government check as bait. By the time he crossed paths with Buju, he'd banked around $3.5 million from snitching. The recording artist maintains he never intended to make a drug buy.

"Time after time for six months, this informant, who was just trying to make a buck, kept pushing and pushing and wouldn't take no for an answer," says David Oscar Markus, an attorney who previously represented Banton. "That day, Buju thought he was going to a party, and [the snitch] takes him to a warehouse with drugs."

That argument was enough to hang the jury at Banton's first trial in 2010. In a February 2011 retrial, the jury emerged after three days of deliberations to find the singer guilty on three of four charges.

At the subsequent sentencing hearing, the gun charge came in for particular scrutiny. It carried an automatic five-year sentence, but lawyers pointed out Banton has never possessed the Luger semiautomatic handgun that was found on James Mack, the man rounded up in the same sting after driving to Florida from Atlanta with $135,000 for cocaine in his car. In fact, the two men had never met.

Weighing those circumstances, Judge James Moody tossed out the allegation but handed Banton ten years for the drug charges. The government appealed, and a panel of judges in Atlanta stapled five years back onto Banton's time. The higher court cited the Pinkerton liability rule, a provision that makes a criminal responsible for offenses committed by a co-conspirator.

After the February 2012 feature story, New Times published 19 pieces tracking Banton's attempts to appeal his conviction. But it was an October 18, 2012 article — "Buju Banton Juror May Have Violated Court Orders: Grounds for a Mistrial" — that proved to be a game changer. The piece featured an exclusive interview with Terri Wright, the former foreperson who admitted to studying details of the proceedings on her computer during the trial — a clear violation of the rules. "I would get in the car, just write my notes down so I could remember, and I would come home and do the research," she told the paper.

Specifically, Wright said she looked into the Pinkerton rule. It was used by prosecutors to tie Banton to Mack's handgun.

After the piece appeared, Banton's legal team filed a motion for a new trial based on jury misconduct. At a hearing over the motion, Wright claimed New Times had misquoted her, alleging the research came after the trial.

In late November, Chris Sweeney, the writer who covered Banton's case, left the paper. In early December, the defense subpoenaed his notes and recordings. This created an awkward ethical situation: A journalist was being asked to hand over his work.

"Clearly from the perspective of the ethics in journalism, you'll go to jail before you turn over your notes. But there are exceptions to those rules, and I think those exceptions are in this case," says Charles N. Davis, a professor at the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. "Here you have a woman who is essentially accusing him of a much worse journalism crime, which is effectively fabrication, or at least deception. If I were him, I would have done the exact same thing to clear my journalistic name."

Adds Sweeney: "I was not too pleased about getting subpoenaed. But I was pissed. I wasn't going to let Terri Wright lie and say that I fabricated quotes. It's not like I was protecting any sources, so I might as well [testify]."

On December 20, Sweeney testified in Tampa. He produced a recording of the interview he had made of their conversation with Wright's consent. The tape confirmed Wright's published quotes regarding research. When the juror took the stand and heard her words played back, she still continued to maintain the research had been done after the proceedings. Banton's attorneys also grilled her on her failure to acknowledge she had served on seven juries. She had even said she would like to be a professional juror.

To settle the issue, Moody ordered Wright to hand over her computer so an expert could comb the hardware for past searches. But a close inspection showed that the equipment Wright submitted to the court hadn't been used at all from May 2010 to June 2011 — a time span that stretched four months after the trial. Banton's defense argued that Wright had submitted a different hard drive to distance herself from charges of wrongdoing. The juror continued to claim she'd done nothing wrong.

Last week, Moody ignored Wright's explanations. He ordered the gun charge thrown out because of the juror's research. He also told the state to prepare a contempt charge against the former juror for deceiving the court about the hard drive. She could face a fine and six-month sentence if convicted.

But Moody also ruled against a defense motion to throw out the drug charges, potentially leaving Banton in jail for the remainder of his ten-year sentence.

According to Markus, now that law libraries, statutes, and case law are a Google search away from anyone, more court cases are hindered by rogue research. "These issues are coming up quite frequently," he explains. "Judges are put in a difficult position today, because every day, jurors are going home to do research."


Banton's legal team says the New Times article about the juror's work "without a doubt" is responsible for the latest development. "That was the basis for our motion for retrial," Alkebu-lan says.

Team Buju is now weighing its options. Moody's decision leaves the whole proceeding in an awkward — and ridiculous — middle ground. By rejecting the gun charge, the judge acknowledged Wright's misconduct tainted the proceedings — but if she tainted one count, how is it possible she didn't poison the whole process?

"I'm not sure you can put those things into separate boxes," Markus says. "Once a juror, especially the foreperson, is doing outside research, it really affects the whole trial. And I think it really applies here. The jury initially voted 10-2 not guilty on all counts. This woman really affected how the jury thought about the case."

That's why, when Banton's attorneys appeal Moody's decision to leave the drug charges in place, it is possible the higher court will clear the deck. The defendant has a 14-day window to appeal Moody's decision to leave the drug charges in place. The prosecution also has the option to retry Banton on the gun charge (the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment about the case for this article), although it's unlikely at this point. For the recording star, that means his hellish run through the criminal justice system might soon be over.

"This decision," Alkebu-lan says, "helps us tremendously."

« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 04:07:17 AM by Flex »
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