Tag Archive | "Buju"

Buju Banton’s case stalled as juror’s computer yields no evidence of misconduct

Buju BantonEmbattled Reggae/Dancehall icon, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton has suffered a big blow in his charge for an early release from prison after a thorough search of a juror’s computer yielded no signs of misconduct during the singjay’s February 2011 drug trial.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that an IT investigator, hired by Buju searched a computer owned by Terri Wright, a juror in the singer’s trial who allegedly researched aspects of his case during the trial and subsequent deliberations. The search yielded approximately 1.6 million internet history records in total. However, at a court hearing in Tampa earlier this week, it was revealed that none of the records found were dated Feb. 14 to March 8, 2011, covering his trial and the two weeks that followed, meaning no trace of misconduct had been detected.

These results let Buju’s legal team to claim Wright gave them the wrong device to search. However, Ms. Wright’s attorney, Lori Palmieri insisted it was her only computer.

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Progress in Buju case as judge expands probe into alleged juror misconduct

BujuEmbattled Reggae megastar, Buju Banton may be gaining steam in his ongoing fight to overturn a ten year sentence on drug charges as his case for a mistrial took a positive twist on Friday.

U.S. District Judge, James Moody ordered marshals to seize computers belonging to Terri Wright, a juror in Buju’s February 2011 drug trial who’s accused of misconduct in the matter. Buju’s legal team successfully filed a motion requesting this seizure take place in order to prove that Wright violated federal court laws by researching aspects of the Reggae artiste’s court case.

If evidence is found to back up this claim by Grammy winning entertainer’s legal team, it could trigger a mistrial in the matter.

Additionally, Judge Moody told lawyers during a conference call on Wednesday that he plans to subpoena more jurors and conduct another hearing to explore whether or not Wright violated court orders.

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Evidentiary hearing set in Buju’s drug case

There’s better news today for embattled Jamaican entertainer, Buju Banton as an evidentiary hearing has been set to explore allegations that a juror violated protocol in his drug trial last year.

According to reports, the hearing has been secured by Buju’s lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba in conjunction with his defense support committee. The evidentiary hearing will take place on December 20 at the Sam M. Gibbons Federal Courthouse in Tampa, FL on December 20 at 9:30 a.m.

The court has reportedly summoned four jurors to this hearing, one of whom admitted to reporters last month that she researched aspects of Buju Banton’s drug case prior to deliberation. Should that juror, Terri Wright, be proven to have done so, a mistrial could be ruled in Buju’s drug case as researching facts for federal trials constitutes a violation of court orders.

In her defense, Wright claims that despite doing such research, it had no influence on her thinking through the trial in which Buju was convicted of three drug charges and subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Buju Banton still faces an additional five years in prison on a gun charge that was reinstated during the summer after an appeal to overturn his conviction fell through. However, a re-sentencing hearing on said gun charge was postponed after Lumumba’s application for an investigation into the alleged juror misconduct was approved.

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Mp3: Lutan Fyah Ft Freeky – God Watch Ova Wi

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Olihile ‘FREEKY’ Afrika is an African reggae artiste that was born in a
township south of Johannesburg, South Africa. His name ‘Freeky’ is origin from
Sotho (one of the tribes found in South Africa). He was musically incline and
dominantly played the bass guitar within his teenage years; and contributed
greatly to his friend’s albums and demos. This is where he developed his
recording skills. His musical transition to secular music introduced him to
his musical influences which stems from: Bob Marley, Garnet Silk,Buju
Banton,Capelton and Sizzla.

Thereafter, Freeky joined a legendary Sotho Band (Ntjapedi) in 2006. It
was with this band, that he shared stages with Salif Keita, Hugh Masekela and
other African musical legends. He also collaborated with other African musicians
he regards highly such as: Bongo Riot, Jah Seed under the Ntjapedi umbrella. At
the point, he was appointed a leadership position which deems him out of his
comfort zone to be front and centre to lead a band called TATTOO L9. TATTOO is
a band he writes, leads and composes music for.

In 2007 Freeky decided to try a solo career. He met Robin Mabunda of Dreaded
Sounds who got him more in touch with reggae music’s roots. His abilities as
a song writer and singer added colour to every song he did and as such drawn
the attention of other musicians he has now collaborated with: Mawe2, Lutan
Fyah, ,Singer Jah , Sizzla Tommy Gunn and Stacious

Freeky, is currently working on his sophomore album for Dreaded Sounds and
anticipate going to Jamaica to work with other artistes and producers.

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LargeUp Interview: Super Beagle on “Dust A Sound Bwoy” + Kanye’s “Mercy”

LargeUp Interview: Super Beagle on “Dust A Sound Bwoy” + Kanye’s “Mercy”

As a teenager growing up in Kingston, my afterschool job was at Techniques Records, where I auditioned artists, sold records, and spent many evenings recording dubplates for overseas customers with sound systems. Artists like Super Beagle, Baby Wayne, Capleton and Buju Banton hung around the store while waiting their turn to record for Winston Riley, the proprietor and producer of the legendary label. Many of us became friends, going to dub studios, writing and practicing songs for the day they would step behind the microphone.

Riley, who had produced “Double Barrel,” the second Jamaican song to go to top the British charts, and other hits including Johnny Osbourne’s “Come Back Darling,” General Echo’s “Arleen,” Tenor Saw’s “Ring The Alarm,” and Super Cat’s “Boops” was not easily impressed—even by artists that already had songs on the road that were selling. When he finally heard and approved Super Beagle’s “Dust a Soundboy” lyrics, he once again opened his vault and lifted out his 24-track Ampex tape with the Stalag rhythm that had already given him numerous hits. We all knew that this was another guaranteed hit. But the icing on the cake for “Dust a Soundboy” was Fuzzy Jones’s intro, with his haunting vocal, like that of an ancient seer, predicting death and destruction to anyone who did not heed his warning: “WELL! It is a weeping and a moaning and a gnashing of teeth in the dancehall and who don’t have teeth gweh rub pan dem gum.”

Move forward to 2012 and one of the hottest songs on the radio is Kanye West’s “Mercy” featuring the same Fuzzy Jones intro from Super Beagle’s “Dust a Sound Boy.” I had to call up Beagle to get his feedback on Kanye sampling his biggest song. The result is more of a stroll down memory lane than an interview, as we compared memories of our days at Techniques Records on Chancery Lane, Arrows Dub Studio, and where it all began for Buju Banton. Photos were shot in and around Super Beagle’s neighborhood in Portmore.


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Buju ‘crushed’ by appeal decision, may seek new trial

A somber mood persists within the camp of incarcerated Dancehall/Reggae megastar, Buju Banton a day after an appeal on behalf of the Grammy-winning entertainer was dismissed.

On Thursday, the United States Court of Appeal for the 11th Circuit upheld Buju Banton’s conviction on drug charges in February of last year and subsequent 10 year sentence regarding said charges last June. In its ruling, the Atlanta-based Circuit Court agreed with the jury’s decision to convict Buju Banton of three charges, including conspiracy to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting a person’s use of a telephone to facilitate a drug crime.

As a result, Buju’s camp was left in shock and according to the artiste’s lead attorney, David Oscar Markus, the Untold Stories singer is heartbroken by the decision.

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Mp3 – New Artist Spotlight : Miami Vice – Jahfe – Must Listen !!!

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“Jahfe, which means “creation” is a band based out of Miami, FL. Their musical style fuses roots reggae with many other genres including rock, dub, soul and R&B, creating a unique blend of organic sounds. The members of Jahfe´ hail from nations all around the world including Haiti, Spain, Israel, Cuba, Czech Republic, Morocco and the United States. The first ever conscious reggae band to be fronted by a female, “Jahfé hits Mach 2 within the opening measure of their music, with a powerful presence from Esther Fortune, lead vocalist for the 10-piece band.”

Jahfe is for the People” is the chant that can be heard at every show. The band represents the youth with a voice. It embodies the power of a young generation and the wisdom of roots culture. The music of Jahfe´ reflects the true ability of conscious music to connect people everywhere. Jahfe´ uses its music to speak out against the injustices plaguing the world. They have been featured in documentaries about domestic violence and have worked to increase awareness about the genocide in Darfur. Jahfe´’s music is filled with references to many of the serious issues that take place around us every day: hunger, poverty, disease, rape and the hatred between nations. Jahfe´ is a movement that seeks to touch people all over the world with its message.


The band is comprised of some of the hardest working musicians in Miami. Collectively, Jahfe´ has worked with Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Thievery’s Corporations, Ky-Mani Marley, the BlackOut Movement, Paul Fakhourie (producer: Lauryn Hill, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Gwen Stephanie), Karl Pitterson, Inner Circle and The Grammy Foundation, among others. Jahfe´ has shared the stage with such notable artists such as Damian, Stephen, Julian and Ky-Mani Marley, Steel Pulse, Buju Banton, Capleton, Collie Buddz, Midnite, Toots and the Maytals, Pato Banton, Nas, Maxi Priest and Johnny Dread. Currently Jahfe´ is playing all over the Southeast US. Their highly anticipated new album, “The Solution” has just been released and is currently available online and at live shows.

The band is comprised of some of the hardest working musicians in Miami. Collectively, Jahfe´ has worked with Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Thievery’s Corporations, Ky-Mani Marley, the BlackOut Movement, Paul Fakhourie (producer: Lauryn Hill, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Gwen Stephanie), Karl Pitterson, Inner Circle and The Grammy Foundation, among others. Jahfe´ has shared the stage with such notable artists such as Damian, Stephen, Julian and Ky-Mani Marley, Steel Pulse, Buju Banton, Capleton, Collie Buddz, Midnite, Toots and the Maytals, Pato Banton, Nas, Maxi Priest and Johnny Dread. Currently Jahfe´ is playing all over the Southeast US. Their highly anticipated new album, “The Solution” has just been released and is currently available online and at live shows.

Jahfe’s single off of the album Reggae Wave powered by Inner Circle
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Buju Banton Timeline

SINCE the early 1990s, the name Buju Banton has been at the forefront of the Jamaican and international reggae/ dancehall music fraternity. The deejay, known for his engaging live performances fuelled by a poignant catalogue of music, was yesterday convicted on drug charges. Here is a look at the time line of the artiste.

1972 — Mark Anthony Myrie is born in Salt Lane, St Andrew on July 15.

1986 — a young Buju is introduced to producer Robert Ffrench by fellow deejay Clement Irie.

 1987 — Buju drops first single. Debuting with the track The Ruler.

1991 — Buju joined Donovan Germain’s Penthouse Records label leading to the release of popular hits including Bogle, Browning and Black Woman.

1992 — Re-release of Buju Boom Bye Bye, which had been recorded years earlier.

1994 — Buju, reportedly affected by the singer Garnett Silk’s death, embraces Rastafari and begins growing his locks.

1995 — Buju releases what is considered his seminal album ‘Til Shiloh — marking a slight shift away from dancehall towards roots reggae.

1999 — Buju drops Inna Heights which earns him a Grammy nomination.

2004 — Saw the release of the politically charged Friends for Life album which also received a Grammy nod.

2007 — In a return to his dancehall roots, Buju dropped the album Too Bad which also found favour with the Grammy panel.

2009 — On April 21 Buju releases album Rasta Got Soul.

2009 — In September, Buju kicks off Rasta Got Soul tour of the United States at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia. However, the tour is plagued by cancellations due to pressure from gay rights groups.

2009 — On October 13, following the cancellation of a number of dates on his Rasta Got Soul tour, Buju meets with four members of San Francisco’s gay community.

2009 — In December Drug Enforcement Administration agents remanded Banton into custody in Miami, where the US District Attorney charged him with conspiracy to distribute and possession of more than five kilogrammes of cocaine.

2010 — On September 27, the case against Buju Banton was declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.

2010 — Before the Dawn, the ninth studio album from Buju is release in North America and Japan on September 28.

2010 — on November 10, Buju is released on bond.

2011 — January 16, Buju performs to a sold-out audience at a specially arranged fund-raising concert held at the Bayfront Park Amphitheatre in downtown Miami.

2011 — On February 13 — one day before the scheduled start of his retrial in Tampa, Florida — Buju Banton’s Before The Dawn album is announced as the winner of the Best Reggae Album category at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards being held at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California

2011 — February 22 — Buju is found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence and using communication wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence. He was found not guilty on the charge of attempted possession of five kilogrammes or more of cocaine.

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Buju could be out in six years

Reggae singer Buju Banton could be out of federal prison in six years, according to his attorney David Oscar Markus. Speaking to reporters after the verdict of a 10-year sentence was handed down by United States judge Jim Moody, Markus said Banton would be credited with the 18 months he spent incarcerated in the Pinellas County Jail in Tampa, Florida.

“He will get credit for all the time he was in, plus good time credit. So he’s got six years remaining on his sentence. Six years is too much time, but it’s much better than the 15 years he was looking at going in this morning,” Markus said.

 Banton, who will be taken to a federal prison in Miami next week, was philosophical in a message he sent with Markus telling his children to hold strain.

“To my family, especially my children, remember our little song, Love the Lord and do no evil. The man is not dead, don’t call him a ghost,” the message read.

Banton appeared in court dressed in prison garb and shackled at the feet. He watched silently as Markus appealed to the court for a lighter sentence and waved to his supporters before flashing a brief smile as he was whisked out of court.

After listening to Markus’ submission, Moody indicated that he was bound by law to hand down the mandatory 10-year sentence and agreed with an earlier argument by prosecutor Jim Preston that Banton’s participation was key to the drug deal and that he expected to profit from the deal despite limited participation. However, the judge did not concede to Preston’s request for a lengthy sentence.

The judge also dropped the charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug offence, citing that Banton did not know that his two co-defendants — Ian Thomas and James Mack — were in possession of an illegal gun when they were arrested attempting to purchase a large amount of cocaine from federal agents in a police controlled warehouse in Tampa, Florida.

Preston, who argued that there was a difference between Buju Banton the “joyful” reggae artiste and Mark Myrie the drug dealer, appeared peeved when the sentence was read out and declined to speak with reporters outside the Sam Gibbons US Court when the matter ended.

Outside the court, Markus told reporters that he would be moving speedily to secure the artiste’s release in an appellate court in the neighbouring state of Georgia. If successful, the artiste could be out in less than the six years projected by Markus, whose legal team also included Margo Moss and Dave Seidel.

“We are hopeful, we are still optimistic, we are very thankful that the judge did that today and now we will appeal to an appellate court in Atlanta, Georgia,” Markus said. “Three judges will hear our case on the 10-year drug count that is left and we will be arguing that the evidence was insufficient on the drug count and that there was entrapment as a matter of law because of that scoundrel Alex Johnson. Mark Myrie is my brother, and I am going to keep fighting until they tell me to stop fighting.”

Johnson is the confidential US Government informant who approached Myrie and enticed him with arguments about illicit drug dealing during a flight from Madrid, Spain to the United States in 2008.

Myrie was arrested at his home in Tamarac, South Florida after almost a year of surveillance of telephone and live conversations and video recordings that included him tasting cocaine in a Saratoga warehouse.

Markus also had praise for the Pinellas County Jail correctional staff, who he said treated Banton fairly but said the artiste would fare better in a federal facility.

“Federal prison is not easy, but it’s better than the county prison where he is at. The people at the county have been nice to Mr Myrie and to us and they have been treating us well, but we are looking forward to getting him to a more permanent place where it will be a little easier on him,” said Markus.

Reggae singer Wayne Wonder was the artiste who introduced Banton to the world at the Sting dancehall show inside the National Stadium in the early 1990s, and the two have been close friends ever since. Throughout Banton’s troubles Wonder has been a pillar of support to his close friend and yesterday after the sentence was handed down, he gave an objective view on Banton’s fate.

“It is not good, but it could have been worse. Buju is a very strong person for all that he has gone through. I don’t think I could have endured it,” Wonder said.

Gramps Morgan has also been firmly supporting Banton during his tribulations and was also thankful that Banton was not slapped with a longer sentence.

“I am still praying and I give thanks to the most high for the leniency of the judge for understanding, because the judge’s job is to follow the law and the law is mandatory 10, so he couldn’t do anything about that, but still he dropped the gun charge. So we give thanks that it’s not more. We are not looking at 15 or 20 years,” Morgan told the Observer.

Another close friend of Banton who identified himself as ‘Rueben’ was hopeful that the appeal would end in the release of the artiste.

“All I have to say is, this is not the end,” Rueben said.

In December last year, Banton was granted bail on condition of house arrest. He was allowed to perform at a benefit concert in downtown Miami to raise funds for his legal fees going into his second trial after the first trial ended in a mistrial when a 12-member panel of jurors could not unanimously decide his innocence or guilt.

Under the conditions of his bail he was ordered to a wear a monitoring device and was only allowed to leave his home to purchase medication or to see his lawyer. He was also ordered to foot the bill for a security detail that would ensure that the conditions of bail were not violated.

Buju Banton will be deported after he finishes serving his sentence.

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Huge turnout for Buju in Miami

MIAMI, Florida — The Bayfront Park Amphitheatre in downtown Miami was bursting at the seams as fans of the embattled reggae star, Buju Banton turned out in their numbers for his Before the Dawn Concert here yesterday.

At the time of filing this report, the Reggae star, who has been facing drug charges in the United States, had not yet taken the stage. However, all the artistes who performed, gave a good account of themselves.

Young act Richie Loop came to Miami and emptied his “cupp,” kicking things off in great fashion. He was followed by Everton Blender who raised the tempo inside the venue and had the patrons rocking to his popular tunes, Lift Up Your Heads and Ghetto People Song. Despite his short stint on stage Blender was in fine form and the audience loved him.

The bar was raised even higher when former teen queen, Nadine Sutherland, took to the stage. If her performance was to be rated out of 10, she definitely scored a 9.99, giving “action, not a bag a mout” and left the crowds roaring for more of her infectious performance.

Freddie McGregor was up next and his Big Ship sailed across the Miami Bayfront, delivering the hits he is known for.

The Jamaican artiste who had the most international visibility for 2010, Gyptian, also took to the stage to support his fellow artiste. He delivered his big tune, Hold You, much to the delight of the Miami audience.

There was a strong contingent of police at the venue, and this was a poignantly brought home by singer Mykal Rose who burst onto the stage with the opening line of his popular song, “Police and thief inna shoot-out.”

This opening segment of the show also featured Gramps Morgan, who has collaborated with Buju Banton for a haunting rendition of Psalms 23. Morgan gave another of his signature performances. Another of the early standouts was Wayne Wonder. Many will remember that he was the first to call a young Buju on stage back in 1990 introducing the ‘Gargamel’ to Jamaica and the world. Wonder did well to ignite his fans in this city.

If there was one downside to the event, it was the stringent policy put in place to deal with members of the media who journeyed from all over the world to cover the event. Only when the media arrived at the venue for accreditation were we informed that only the first five minutes of each performance could be videotaped or photographed. In addition no photos of Buju Banton could be taken while he is on stage. This resulted in the media being herded out of the ‘pit’ after the first few minutes of each performance.

SOURCE: Jamaica Observer

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Buju trial delayed until September

Reggae star Buju Banton’s drug trial in Florida has been delayed again.

The Jamaican singer is accused of being involved in a conspiracy to traffic more than five kilograms of cocaine.

He had originally been scheduled to stand trial in Tampa on April 19. Days before trial was set to begin, United States District Judge James Moody rescheduled it for June 21.

On Friday, Moody moved the case to the September trial calendar. A trial date will be set at a hearing in August.

Banton’s attorney filed an objection, saying the change violates the federal Speedy Trial Act. That generally requires trial to begin within 70 days after a defendant is charged or makes a first court appearance.

Banton, born Mark Myrie, has been in federal custody since December.

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Buju’s Lawyer Files Bail Application; Says He Has Lost 40lbs

Citing health concerns, Buju Banton’s lawyer, David Markus, reportedly filed an emergency motion for bond (bail) with the federal courts earlier today. According to the motion, Banton has lost 40 pounds and has not been provided with a diet (vegetable and fruit-based) in accordance with his religious views. The bond hearing is set for this Friday (March 26) at 10 a.m. The motion also stated that on March 18 (last week Thursday), Banton was moved from the Pinellas County Jail’s general population area to a higher security section – a punishment for giving his food to another inmate – and that since this move, Banton’s “physical and mental health has been rapidly deteriorating.“

Banton has been in custody since his detention on Federal drug charges in Florida in December, 2009.

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Exclusive interview with Tracii Mcgregor – Buju’s Manager Speaks!!

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Buju Banton pleads not guilty

Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton has pleaded not guilty to a drug charge in a court in Florida.

Banton was arrested in December on a charge of conspiring to buy more than five kilograms of cocaine from an undercover law enforcement officer.

The 36-year-old singer – real name Mark Myrie – did not seek bail as, if released, he would be held by US immigration officials.

It is likely Grammy-nominated Myrie will miss the event on 31 January.

The dancehall singer has been nominated at the Grammys for his latest album, Rasta Got Soul.

Banton was arrested at his home in Tamarac, Florida in early December.

Authorities say he met with a confidential informant to discuss the drug purchase.

His lawyer, David Oscar Markus said Banton is innocent and was set up by “some evil people trying to take advantage of his trusting and honest character”.

He is best known for the track Bogle and the controversial single Boom Bye Bye.

In 2004, he was banned from performing at a gig in Manchester after protests about his allegedly homophobic lyrics, which are often used in the genre of dancehall music.

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Buju Banton and the Sentencing Guidelines


The balance of power in the Federal criminal justice system is weighted heavily towards the prosecutor.  Federal criminal law enforcement has as its aim the reduction of crime and the achievement of fair and consistent sentencing.

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines determines federal sentences based primarily on two factors: (1) The conduct associated with the criminal offence, which produces the Offence Level, (2) The defendant’s criminal history.  A sentencing table displays the weighted relationship between the two factors.

The Offence Level and the Criminal History Category are placed on a grid or table that specifies a sentencing range in months.  The court may sentence a defendant within the Sentencing Range.

When the Federal Sentencing Guidelines were passed they were mandatory, however there is now some flexibility in the law since the Supreme Court ruling in the United States v Booker 543 US 220 (2005).  Booker held that the guidelines, when rigidly applied, violated the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The guidelines are now considered advisory only.  Judges must calculate the guidelines and consider them when determining a sentence, but are not required to issue sentences within the guidelines.

Two basic types of plea negotiation exist: (1) charge bargaining and (2) sentencing bargaining. Charge bargaining is negotiating about the specific charges to which a defendant will plead guilty.  Charge bargaining has little impact on the ultimate sentence received because in calculating the advisory guideline level all of the relevant conduct is considered regardless of which specific count of the indictment pleads guilty to. The second type of plea-bargaining, the more effective type involves sentencing agreements where the defendant seeks concessions from the Government regarding its sentencing positions.

A sentencing agreement may provide that (a) the United States Government recommend a particular sentence, see Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 (C) (1), (b) or that the United States Government will not oppose the defendants requested sentence see Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 (C) (1) (B). Well-informed estimates of the Sentencing Range for Buju Banton are in the 25 years to life range.  This would apply if he were found guilty at trial or if he does not seek a sentence reduction through a plea agreement.  Such a sentence reduction would require a significant factual debriefing concerning his involvement in illegal conduct and the names of all his current and past co-conspirators if any such exist. If Mr. Myrie goes to trial and is acquitted it will be a great victory for him.  In Federal cases in which electronic evidence is involved the chances of obtaining an acquittal at trial are statistically very small.

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Buju banton faces drug charges in Miami


Buju Banton, the Jamaican reggae star whose anti-gay lyrics have drawn international criticism, is in a federal lockup in Miami, facing drug conspiracy charges.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents say Banton, real name Mark Anthony Myrie, has been in custody since Thursday and will soon be transferred to Tampa, where the U.S. Attorney is charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilos of cocaine.

Banton has homes both in Jamaica and Tamarac.

While legions of dancehall reggae enthusiasts view Banton as one of the most prolific voices of Jamaica’s poor masses, critics say he’s a gay basher whose lyrics incite violence by calling for attacking and torturing homosexuals. His song Boom Bye Bye, a dance-hall hit released in the 1990s, advocates shooting gays in the head and setting them on fire.

As late as September, Banton’s local management told The Miami Herald that the criticism of the star was unwarranted because he had stopped singing the song years ago. The song remains a hit among reggae DJs.

Still, such lyrics have made Banton one of the more controversial reggae artists, with angry gay activists this fall forcing the cancellation of a string of concerts by the artists during a U.S. tour that included a Halloween night concert in Miami.

Recently the firestorm ratched up after the Grammys announced that Baton’s album Rasta Got Soul, released earlier this year, was up for an award.

Gay Men of African Descent and the National Black Justice Coalition joined with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in a petition drive protesting the nomination.

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Gay Rights Group Angry Over Buju Banton’s Grammy Nomination


Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) leaders in America have urged musicians to sign a new petition protesting reggae star Buju Banton’s Grammy Award nomination.

The advocacy organization is also calling on Recording Academy members not to support the nomination of Banton’s Rasta Got Soul album in the Best Reggae Album category.

GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios says, “Reggae singer Buju Banton’s anti-gay lyrics and the climate of hatred they create are a threat to the safety of gay and transgender people everywhere. In a climate of increased anti-gay violence in America and Banton’s home country of Jamaica, it is deeply disappointing that the Recording Academy would choose to laud the work of a singer who has advocated violence against the gay community.”

The petition and anti-Grammy campaign is the latest in the battle between gay rights groups and Banton, who was forced to reschedule a series of U.S. shows earlier this year when GLAAD official persuaded many venues to ban

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