Buju jury gets advice
FLORIDA – Buju Banton’s lawyer David Oscar Markus today asked jurors not to allow the Jamaican’s superstar status to impact on their ability to discharge their duties properly.
During jury selection this morning, Markus told the jury that Buju has just won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album and suggested many persons hold him up as a role-model.
I am not asking for any special treatment for Mr Myrie,” Oscar Marcus said. Buju Banton’s real name is Mark Myrie.
“In the courtroom Mr Myrie is just like you and me. He should be held to the same standard,” he added.
Markus also pointed the jurors to the confidential informant who is to testify in the matter. He said the informant should be viewed with “special care”.
“He has been paid 3.5 million by the government and he has conviction,” Marcus added.
Prosecuting attorney Preston meanwhile asked two of three African American women, who were later selected for duty if the fact that Buju is black would have a bearing on their assessment of the case. The women said no.
He also told the prospective jurors to hold the prosecution to a high level and that it is his duty to prove the case.
Three African American women are among 12 jurors who will decide the fate of Reggae Grammy award winner Buju Banton.
Buju, who was dressed in a dark suit and blue shirt walked into the United States Middle District Court at 8:17 a.m. ahead of jury selection. The Jamaican superstar told the court he was only trying to impress the man, who claimed to have music industry connections.
“I talk too much, but I am not a drug dealer,” Banton said on the stand,” during the first trial.
Judge Moodie told the eight women and four men who make up the jury as well as the two reserves they have a responsibility to be ethical and that the standard for conviction is “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, not guilt beyond possible doubt”.
Buju is facing charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm during the course of a drug trafficking crime, attempting to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and using a communication facility in the commission of an act constituting a felony.
Buju was arrested in December 2009. During a trial five months ago, evidence was presented to the court showing him tasting a substance purporting to be cocaine in a Florida warehouse.