Dec 25, 2011
JAMAICAN reggae star Buju Banton, now serving a 10-year sentence on drug-related charges, could be freed due to a blunder on the part of the United States government.
According to the website examiner.com, under the United States law, Buju Banton — whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie — should have been brought to trial before 70 days. This is a right guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment.
The media report states that the government may have violated the Speedy Trial Act. The act refers to one of the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution to defendants in criminal proceedings. The right to a speedy trial, guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, is intended to make sure that defendants are not subjected to unreasonably lengthy incarceration prior to a fair trial.
In judging speedy trial claims, the US Supreme Court has developed a four-part test that considers the length of the delay, the reasons for the delay, the defendant's assertion of his right to a speedy trial, and the prejudice to the defendant.
Violations of the act, such as where the state has failed to bring the case to trial for an 'unreasonable' length of time, may be a cause for dismissal of a criminal case.
Buju Banton's first trial took place in September 2010, nine months after his initial arrest by law enforcement officials in Florida and four months after Judge James Moody pushed back Buju's initial court date without giving any specifics regarding why the case was postponed. His second trial, where he was later convicted, took place in February of this year, four months after he was granted bail in the case.
Dec 17, 2011
Team Gargamel is extremely pleased to announce that Buju’s attorney of record, David Oscar Markus ofMarkus & Markus Law, filed the Brief Of The Appellant, on behalf of Mark Anthony Myrie p/k/aBuju Banton, with the United States Court of Appeals earlier this morning. The gripping, 73-page document thoroughly picks apart the squirrely details surrounding the case of “The Recording Artist vs The Con Artist.”
The Appeal itself is broken down into three main arguments:
I. AS BOTH A MATTER OF LAW AND FACT, MYRIE IS NOT GUILTY OF CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE COCAINE OR TO AID AND ABET OTHERS IN USING THE TELEPHONE TO FACILITATE A COCAINE DISTRIBUTION CONSPIRACY
II. IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THE GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO IMPLICATE MYRIE CONSTITUTED ENTRAPMENT BECAUSE MYRIE LACKED PREDISPOSITION TO PARTICIPATE IN A DRUG CONSPIRACY
III. THIS CASE MUST BE DISMISSED DUE TO THE DISTRICT COURT’S VIOLATION OF THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT
In addition to the brief, Mr. Markus has requested an oral argument, where 3 judges listen to the case, “because it will assist the Court in understanding the multiple legal issues presented in this case.” Only 10% of all appeal cases are granted this opportunity.
The Court of Appeals will decide whether to allow oral argument, and when all is said and done, will usually take between a month and a year to rule.
The legal representation for embattled Reggae superstar, Mark “Buju Banton” Myrie officially filed an appeal on behalf of the beloved singjay.
The appeal was filed by Buju attorneys,David Oscar Markus, Mona Markus, Anita Margot Mossand Marc Seitles in the United States Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit in Georgia on Friday. In the appeal, Buju’s legal team seeks that the singjay’s ten year sentence on drug charges this past June be reversed; suggesting that the case should be dismissed citing prejudice or that the artiste should receive a new trial.
Buju’s lawyers contend in the appeal that the district court erred in failing to grant Myrie’s judgment of acquittal as a matter of law, claiming amongst other things: “The undisputed evidence is that Myrie did not agree to participate in the drug conspiracy that eventually was reached among others.”
Also, “Myrie had almost no participation in the telephone call forming the basis of the government’s charge that he aided and abetted the ‘facilitation’ of a drug conspiracy, and in fact the telephone call in question did not facilitate a drug conspiracy in any event.”
Furthermore, “Whether the district court erred in failing to find that Myrie was entrapped as a matter of law, where there was no evidence that Myrie was predisposed to engage in a cocaine distribution scheme, and the undisputed evidence was that the government pursued a lengthy, intense, unrelenting campaign to target Myrie through an unsupervised paid informant who was desperate to earn a cut of the deal.”
Finally, “Whether the district court erred in failing to dismiss the case based on the expiration of the speedy trial clock.”
Buju’s lawyers also intimate that the district court made a mistake in failing to discover that he was entrapped as a matter of law, as he was not predisposed to participate in a cocaine conspiracy and his involvement was the result of improper government inducement.
Additionally, they intimated that Buju was an unwilling participant in the drug deal; arguing that his consistent efforts to avoid following up government informant Alex Johnson’s consistent and emphatic efforts to draw Myrie in and because the speedy trial clock ran long before his case was tried, the case should have been dismissed with prejudice.
Buju Banton was initially convicted of three drug-related charges in February for the December 2009 incident in which he stood accused of conspiring to organize a drug deal within a police-controlled warehouse.
Source: http://www.examiner.com/jamaican-pop-culture-in-national/buju-banton-s-lawyers-file-appeal Jodee Brown, Jamaican Pop Culture Examiner