Jun 26, 2013

Buju Banton almost freed

US federal judge today threw out a 2011 gun conviction against reggae star Buju Banton.

The decision means that Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, will have his 15 year sentence reduced to 10 years for now.

Meanwhile, Judge James Moody has told the government to bring a criminal contempt charge against a juror who helped send him to prison.

Banton's legal team had sought a new trial following the disclosure that a juror, Terri Wright, had conducted an internet research on aspects of the case during the trial.

Today, Judge Moody concluded that Wright did independent research during Banton's February 2011 trial and then discussed her findings with other jurors, behavior that came to light after she did a newspaper interview in October 2012.

She could face a fine and up to six months in prison if found guilty of contempt

According to a report by The Tampa Bay Times, Banton's attorney Chokwe Lumumba said afterward that he appreciated Judge Moody's decision on the gun charge but he didn't think the judge went far enough.

"I thought he should have thrown out the whole case," Lumumba said.

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