Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Buju Sentencing Postponed, Artiste Writes Letter

Embattled Dancehall superstar, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton will have to wait a while longer to know his fate regarding sentencing on a gun charge in his ongoing drug trial.

The sentencing on said gun charge was postponed during a hearing inside the Sam M. Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday morning. The hearing was put off on the request of Buju’s lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba, amidst an application for an investigation he filed earlier this month, alleging juror misconduct during the singjay’s drug trial in February 2011. No new date has been set for Buju’s sentencing.

Terri Wright, a juror in Buju's drug trial last year, revealed in an interview with the New Times Broward that she researched aspects of the entertainer’s case to gauge a greater understanding of the matter before deliberation. Though Wright insisted that it had no bearing on her final decision, reports surfaced that her research could constitute as a violation of court orders, thus, possibly sparking a mistrial in Buju’s case.

Buju Banton still faces five additional years in prison on the gun charge after it was reinstated this past summer when an appeal to overturn his original 10-year conviction on drug charges was dismissed. An Atlanta circuit court ruled that enough evidence existed for the gun charge, which was originally thrown out in the February 2011 trial, to be reinstated.

Meanwhile, Buju Banton has issued a message to his fans and friends while behind bars as thanked them for their support while re-assuring them of his resolve to fight this case.

In the message, tweeted by the official Free Buju Now Twitter page, Buju writes, “To those who stood with me through these trying times, who prayed with me, who wrote letters and called on my behalf, my family and I thank you so much. It has certainly not been an easy road but I will never give up the fight until I am once again reunited with my people and my family.”

Buju continued, “Even then, that’s when the struggle begins, because I must continue fighting for those who I have met and seen their plight and how they are being ‘felonized’ by the government and disenfranchised and violated by the very laws that should be protecting their properties and persons…If you only knew, I pray that this great nation would regain consciousness and defend truth and rights like they should and stand united against a common enemy – injustice. Thanks again for your support.”

Several entertainers have taken the time out in recent weeks to visit the embattled Dancehall/Reggae star behind bars as a show of support including Tanto Metro, Mad Cobra and Sean Paul, amongst others.