by Jodee Brown
Jamaican Reggae megastar, Buju Banton has formally filed for a new trial as he continues his relentless fight for freedom from his drug conviction.
According to reports Wednesday, the musician’s legal team filed a 55-page document arguing for a retrial in a U.S. Court of Appeal (11th Circuit Court of Appeal) on Feb. 4. Buju is being represented by a new legal team: Jack Cushman, Max Stern and Charles Ogletree, the latter a HarvardUniversity law professor who once represented hip-hop legend, Tupac Shakur and taught American president,Barack Obama and the First Lady,Michelle Obama.
This is Buju’s third legal team since his February 2011 conviction on drug charges. He was previously represented by David Oscar Markus and Chokwe Lumumba, the latter pulling out after being elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi last summer.
Buju Banton was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 2011 on three drug charges in relation to a December 2009 arrest at a warehouse following a U.S. Drug Enforcement sting operation, in which it was alleged he tried to buy cocaine from an undercover officer.
A gun-related charge originally slapped on him following the arrest was dropped last June after being previously reinstated following a failed appeal.
A juror in his 2011 trial, Terri Wright was found guilty of misconduct for allegedly researching facts on his case during the proceedings. However, authorities later decidednot to file contempt charges against her.