by Jodee Brown
The Grammy-winning singjay will file for a new trial, which if successful, would mark his third since his initial arrest in Florida in December 2009. The announcement of this decision comes nearly two days after a United States appeals court in Atlanta, GA upheld Buju Banton’s conviction on drug-related charges in February of last year and subsequent 10 year sentence four months later.
Buju’s lead attorney, David Oscar Markus intimated that his client came to this decision after a meeting they had at a Miami-based federal prison, where the internationally acclaimed singer currently resides.
“We will file (the application for a new trial sometime in the next 30 days,” Markus told the Jamaica Observer.
According to Markus, Buju Banton remains strong despite his latest setback and insisted that they should not give up as he continues to show the resolve and will to fight for his freedom.
“He was obviously sad and depressed but somehow still strong,” Markus said.
“He is an amazing person. All of us need to stay strong for Buju. There is no other option.”
Prior to Buju’s trial in February 2011 in which he was convicted of conspiracy, trafficking and cocaine charges, there was an initial trial held regarding the entertainer’s case in September of the previous year which ended a hung jury.
Should Buju Banton be granted a third trial, he risks a longer sentence given that his conviction on a gun charge, which was initially thrown out by the presiding judge during his last trial year may not be tossed out on a third trial.given that there would be a new judge overseeing proceedings.
During Thursday’s hearing on Buju’s appeal, the Atlanta-based Circuit Court agreed with the jury’s conviction of the artiste’s gun charge.