by Jodee Brown
With incarcerated deejay, Vybz Kartel awaiting sentencing on his recent murder conviction in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, doubt is now being cast on whether or not the entertainer will be permitted to record in prison as the presiding judge in said case may not let him do so.
During Kartel’s sentencing hearing on Thursday, Supreme Court Justice, Lennox Campbell said he was pondering whether or not to make a ruling allowing the deejay to record songs while in jail, saying he was not sure such an option was available.
One case Justice Campbell referred to involving another convicted entertainer was Reggae superstar, Jah Cure. The singer was convicted of rape in 1999 and served eight years in prison following an alleged incident a year earlier in which he allegedly raped a robbed a woman at gunpoint. While serving time in the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre, Cure was allowed to record a number of songs during his prison term, including hit songs, Reflections and Dem Nuh Build Great Man, which featured on his fourth album, True Reflections…A New Beginning.
“In a previous matter when a person was convicted who had some artistic talent certain things were done,” Justice Campbell told the court. “It needs to be found out whether in fact it was open to the court for any of those proceeds gained could go to repairing any of the damages to the relatives of the deceased.”
However, a former prison official told the Jamaica Observer Thursday that only if Kartel is deemed fit to be part of a rehabilitation program, depending on his conduct, by the Department of Correctional Services would he be allowed to record while incarcerated.
Since his arrest in September 2011, many music observers have suspected that Kartel has been recording behind bars, with songs such as Back To Life and others singled out as potential proof. However, his record label and long-time producer, Elvis Redwood have vehemently denied on numerous occasion that the deejay has ever recorded behind bars, citing that they were all done prior to his incarceration.
The sentencing of Vybz Kartel and his three co-accused, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre ‘Mad Suss’ St. John was postponed this morning until April 3 after the judge decided to facilitate written statements from defense lawyers clarifying sentencing guidelines. It is also said that Justice Campbell would like to see a member of the victim’s family attend the sentencing.
Kartel and his co-accused were convicted of Williams’ August 2011 murder in which it was alleged he was beaten and stabbed to death following a dispute over missing, illegal guns.