UPDATE 6/23/2012: Despite the “crushing” decision to dismiss Buju’s appeal and uphold the lower court’s ruling, reggae superstar Buju Banton (nee Mark Myrie) and his legal team led by David Oscar Markus plan to file a new case. “We will file (the application for a new trial sometime in the next 30 days,” Markus told the Jamaica Observer.
(Jamaica Gleaner) Jamaican Reggae superstar Buju Banton yesterday lost his appeal against the 10-year prison sentence he is now serving.
The ruling was handed down yesterday in the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Today, the Appeals Court rejected all the claims in the Grammy-winning entertainer’s appeal and sided with prosecutors.
The Appeals Court also agreed with the jury’s decision to find the entertainer guilty on the firearm charge.
That charge was dismissed by the trial judge, after the jury delivered its verdict and prosecutors filed an appeal to have it re-instated.
The Appeal Court said the trial judge should now decide whether Buju should be re-tried on the firearm charge or sentenced to the five years allowed under the sentencing guidelines. In its ruling, the appeal court found that given Buju’s familiarity with the drug trade, the jury could have reasonably concluded that he knew that the use of a gun by one of his co-conspirators was a reasonably foreseeable action.
The court also found that Buju demonstrated familiarity with the drug trade, and his behaviour during the offense was consistent with his described role of an investor who stays on the outside