Reggae Superstar Buju Banton Granted New Appeal Hearing in Atlanta

Written by Red Carpet Shelley. Posted in Caribbean Celebrity News, Legal/Lawsuits

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Published on August 21, 2014 with No Comments

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Grammy Award-winning reggae star Buju Banton, who is serving 10 years in jail over drugs charges, has been granted a new hearing in his latest appeal.

Buju Banton

Buju Banton

Just this week I asked at least three people, “do you think Buju Banton will be coming home soon?”.  Two responded “NO!”, one said not soon but maybe his time could be shortened.  I couldn’t help but wonder what was really the current status of his case given the recent death of his previous lawyer Chokwe Lumumba.   (Prior to his dealth, and upon election as Mayor of Jackson, MS, Lumumba recused himself from Buju’s case).  

Well, now this!  Buju’s new attorney, Harvard University law professor Charles Ogletree, filed paperwork for a new hearing and the Atlanta appeals court has agreed to hear oral arguments on the case.

Banton was convicted of conspiracy to possess cocaine and drug trafficking offenses in 2011, following a sting operation in 2009. A 2010 trial ended in a mistrial, as the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Ogletree, who took over the case in February, said Banton was “pleased” to learn about the hearing, adding “we too are looking forward to the [appeals] argument.”

Dancehall superstar Banton, nee Mark Myrie, won ‘Best Reggae Album’ at the 2011 Grammy Awards for his record Before the Dawn – announced the day before his trial began.

Banton’s convictions were upheld by an appeals panel in 2012, after his former lawyer argued a government informant had improperly entrapped the singer.  Much of the case hinged on video and audio recordings taken by an informant and by Drug Enforcement Administration personnel.

During the trial the court heard Banton had told a police informant he could broker cocaine. However the singer testified he was merely boasting and prosecutors conceded he had never put money into a deal or profited from it.

It is not known when the appeals hearing will take place however, I will continue to keep track of Buju’s case!

RCS Sidebar:  I think they should release him on time served!!  #ThatIsAll

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