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Buju Banton 2014

Buju Banton granted approval to present oral arguments in bid for new trial

Buju Banton 2014Incarcerated Reggae/Dancehall entertainer, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton has been granted approval by a U.S. appeals court to make oral arguments in a bid for a new trial as he attempts to overturn his conviction on drug-related charges.

The breakthrough came on Monday following an appeal submitted in May by Buju’s legal team, headed by Harvard Law School professor, Charles Ogletree asking that Buju be granted a new trial and oral arguments on the basis that the singer was entrapped by a paid U.S. informant and that his case was compromised after a juror in his 2011 trial was found to have unlawfully researched aspects of the case while it was taking place.

A statement issued by the Buju Banton Defense Support Committee detailed the latest developments in the matter.

It reads, “In May 2014 the Defense Team for Jamaican Reggae Superstar, Buju Banton, filed an appeal to the U.S. Appellate Court requesting the artiste be granted oral arguments and a new trial. Buju’s attorney, Professor Charles Ogletree, submitted a compact and powerful document detailing Buju Banton’s innocence. The Court has responded favourably by granting approval to the oral arguments.

The brief states that Buju Banton was entrapped by a paid informant in December 2009. It gives clear evidence that the foreperson of the jury, Mrs. Terri Wright, acted against the District Court’s instructions by researching information on the case during the trial and that Mrs. Wright further presented the Court with the wrong computer hard drive on which she did her research.”

No date has been issued by the appeals court for the oral arguments to be heard. However. Ogletree expressed satisfaction with the approval of Buju’s request, saying that the court’s decision is a ‘positive step towards justice, victory and freedom for the incarcerated reggae icon.'”

Buju was convicted on three drug-related charges in February 2011 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison, counting time already served. His term is slated to end in February 2019.

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Buju Banton trial request rejected, faces more jail time

The light at the end of the tunnel now seems further away for incarcerated Reggae legend, Buju Banton as the prominent singjay’s request for a new trial has been rejected.

Federal Judge, James Moody turned down Buju’s appeal during a hearing inside a Tampa, Florida courtroom on Tuesday, insisting that there was no need for another one to take place. This ruling took place a month and a half after an Atlanta Circuit Court rejected Buju Banton’s appeal to overturn his conviction and subsequent ten-year sentence on drug-related charges last year.

That court appearance in Atlanta this past June also witnessed the reinstatement of Buju Banton’s gun charge, which was initially thrown out during his initial conviction in February 2011. As a result, given the rejection of his trial request yesterday, Buju Banton now faces five additional years in prison and will soon attend a new sentencing hearing to find out whether or not his ten-year prison stay will be extended.

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Buju Banton files for new trial

Embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Buju Banton adamantly refuses to give up on potential freedom as he’s filed for a new trial in his ongoing drug case.

Currently serving a ten year sentence on three drug-related charges, Buju Banton’s legal team filed a motion on Tuesday with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida asking that the Grammy-winning entertainer be granted a new trial. This coming nearly three weeks after a Georgia Circuit Court threw out an appeal made on behalf of Buju Banton, agreeing with the jury’s convictions on the three aforementioned charges including conspiracy to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting a person’s use of a telephone to facilitate a drug crime.

The Circuit Court also sided with the jury’s guilty verdict regarding a charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime; this despite the charge being originally thrown out by the presiding judge during Buju’s last trial.

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