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At the Federal Judges Discretion
Discretion is defined as
1: the quality of having or showing discernment or good judgment
2: ability to make responsible decisions
3: individual choice or judgment
A Federal Judges discretion is wide and large encompassing decisions made by taking law, common sense and individual facts into consideration. Prime example Buju Banton’s case. Although pressured by the prosecutors to deny bail the federal judge gets creative to allow bail while seriously weighing both arguments from the defense and prosecutor and trying to achieve fairness for both parties.
To say that Buju, his manager and his attorneys have jumped hoops to get him released would be an understatement. Time and again motions to set bond had been denied by the federal magistrate as the federal prosecutor strongly feels Buju is a flight risk. Two of the co-defendants have already pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing neither of which have implicated Buju. Although at first glance that may look unfavorable when you consider the co-defendant’s inability to pay for their defense and when you take the 99 percent conviction rate of the feds into consideration, it may be a no brainer for some to take a plea deal.
Buju Banton a Jamaican raggae artist and four time Grammy nominee has been released this week from federal detention in Tampa, Florida pending his new trial in February 2011 thanks to a Federal Judges discretion. The defendant had been incarcerated for a full year. He has been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and tried once. The jurors inability to reach a unanimous decision just a couple of months ago resulted in a hung jury or mistrial and hence a new and costly trial begins for both defense and the feds. Prosecutors have adamantly opposed any bail be given.
In view of the hung jury the federal judge magistrate Porcelli allowed Buju to post bond and get released to prepare with his attorneys for the new trial, and spend time with his enormous family for the upcoming holidays. The judge has more than covered himself by imposing rare and even unheard of conditions. The magistrate of course wants to make sure the defendant will not flee the US as he is an international celebrity with family and friends the world over. Limited mobility and the most stringent conditions were placed by the federal judge upon Buju as part of conditions for his release.
The federal judge imposed a $300,000 property bond which was met by his childhood friend Steven Marley (son of Bob Marley) and his wife by putting up their home as security for the bond. Buju Banton also posted a $25,000 federal bond by paying the premium and putting up additional collateral. He is to report and be monitored by federal pretrial and subject to random drug testing, wears an ankle bracelet at all times, has had to install an alarm in his home to keep him indoors and pays a private security company 24 hours a day 7 days a week to monitor him and make sure he is in compliance with all of the judges conditions. His movement is confined to and from his attorneys office, scheduled court hearings, doctor appointments and pharmacy runs for medication. Any other trips need the prior approval of pretrial services. In addition an immigration hold had to be lifted to allow for his release.
Before the Dawn - Buju Banton Newest Release
Buju’s real name is Mark Antony Myrie. He comes from a large family where he is the youngest of 15 sibling and the only male. He himself has numerous children and is most proud of his 9 sons and 6 daughters. He is currently fighting federal charges for conspiracy to possess and distribute 5 kilos of cocaine. He is looking at life in prison if convicted. A man of principles and faith he firmly believes he was entrapped by a confidential informant on the feds payroll. He vows to fight until the end, refusing any type of plea agreement.
Buju Banton first started singing and recording at the age of 15. He is now 37 years old. That makes having been in the music industry more than half his life and touring places like Jamaica, Europe, Africa, and the US. His new album Before the Dawn was recently released in September 2010 while he was still detained behind bars. It contains 10 songs some of which are about incarceration and the struggle with titles like In the Air, Battered & Bruised, Bondage, Struggle Together and Innocent.
- Buju Banton Appeals Drug Conviction | News | BET
Jailed reggae superstar claims the evidence against him is inconclusive.
- Jurors evenly split on Buju\'s fate - Breaking & Current Jamaica News - JamaicaObserver.com
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