A Florida Federal judge found a juror in Buju Banton’s trial guilty of contempt last Thursday, for researching the case outside of court.
According to yesterday’s Tampa Bay Times, Terri Wright was given five months’ probation, ordered to do 40 hours of community service, and research and write a paper on the cost to taxpayers of a six-day trial, by Judge James S Moody.
Moody, however, granted her attorney’s request that the sentence be set aside pending the appeal’s completion.
Rosemary Duncan, coordinator of the Buju Banton Defense Committee, is aware of the development. But she was tight-lipped in her response as to the reggae entertainer’s next move.
“We’ll let you know in due course,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
Duncan, who formed the support group in 2011 to champion Banton’s cause, said he remains “unbreakable” in spirit.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Wright — a member of the panel that convicted Banton in 2011 on drug charges — spoke to a Miami New Times reporter about her jury experience. In the interview, she told reporter Chris Sweeney about going to her car after court, writing down notes, and then doing research at home.
Sweeney later wrote a story that said Wright may have violated a judge’s order for jurors not to research the case while the trial was ongoing. The story led Federal prosecutors to charge Wright with contempt of court.
Banton (given name Mark Myrie) is serving a 10-year sentence on drug-related charges in a privately run prison in McRae, Georgia.
He was convicted days after winning a Grammy Award for his album Before Dawn.
He is scheduled to be released and deported to Jamaica in 2019.
Published By: The Observer
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