Jury split 6-6 on Buju verdict
2:35 p.m. Monday Sept 27, 2010: TAMPA, Florida – The jurors in the trial of Reggae artiste Buju Banton have taken a break for lunch today and will continue deliberations this afternoon.
A jury foreman told United States judge Jim Moody at 9:50 a.m. that they have not been able to reach a verdict in the drug case involving Jamaican Reggae star Buju Banton.
The foreman says the 12-member jury is split evenly.
“I don’t know if we will get to a final decision. We don’t feel that we will progress, so could you provide further instructions? Since Thursday we have been reviewing evidence, nobody has changed their minds from their original positions,” the jury foreman told the court.
Moody instructed the jurors to take their time in coming to a final decision.
“Be as leisurely as the occasion may require,” Moody says.
The judge gave further instructions that none of the jurors should surrender their conscience decision. Banton’s attorney David Markus then filed a motion for a mistrial but Moody rejected the motion. Banton, 36, appeared in court in a white shirt and a cream coloured pants today. His feet were shackled.
Should a mistrial be declared in the case, Buju Banton, real name Mark Myrie, faces the possibility of a retrial if the prosecution decides to continue.
He is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine which carries the maximum of 20 years imprisonment. (Jamaica Observer.com)