Fans of incarcerated Reggae stalwart, Buju Banton are being given a legitimate ray of hope the singer will regain his freedom after his lawyer intimated Monday that his client may be freed from a U.S. federal prison this year, should his appeal to overturn his drug conviction be successful.
The singer applied for a new trial earlier in May, via his legal team headed by Harvard University law professor, Charles Ogletree and was granted a reprieve in August after an American appeals court approved his request to present oral arguments supporting his reasoning for wanting a new trial. However, no date nor venue has been set as of yet, though it is expected to happen very soon.
Said arguments are on the basis that Buju was entrapped by a paid U.S. informant and that his case was compromised after it was found that a juror in the singer’s February 2011 trial unlawfully researched aspects of his drug case while the trial was ongoing.
Ogletree told IRIE FM in an interview Monday afternoon that he is pleased with the progress of Buju’s appeal and is confident a resolution can soon be reached.
“These things I think show serious setbacks in this case and show that the 11th circuit [appeals court] is at least concerned about what happened here and I’m prepared to argue it as strongly as I can” he said. “I expect that Buju Banton’s convictions will be reversed, that he will be out this year and that he will be performing again, both in Florida and in Jamaica.”
Atty. Ogletree also said that should Buju’s conviction be overturned, he will apply to have Buju’s status as a convicted felon wiped away so he can be able to perform in the United States without restrictions. Additionally, he anticipate many of the singer’s supporters to be on hand once the arguments are being made.
Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted of three drug offences during that 2011 trial. His current expected release date is February 1, 2019.