A coordinator of the three-member Buju Banton Defense Support Committee, says the incarcerated reggae artiste was “pressured into an agreement” to drop any further appeals.
The artist, born Mark Myrie, was arrested in 2009 and convicted on drug trafficking charges in February 2011.
He is currently serving a mandatory 10-year sentence in a Georgia correctional facility on cocaine charges.
After the U.S. Attorney’s office dismissed firearms charges against Myrie, his attorneys announced that they were withdrawing all further appeals and that the artist would serve out the remainder of his sentence.
“The court had thrown out the gun charge twice. However, the prosecution still had the option of pursuing a new trial … and if convicted, he would get an additional five years,” the St Lucian-born, US-based Duncan, a coordinator of the three-member Buju Banton Defense Support Committee.
The support committee coordinator said the decision to discontinue the appeals came from the artiste himself.
“It was his own decision, based on his own analysis. He realised that every time there is hope, the court would say something else. He said he’s done 5 1/2 years and could do 3 1/2 years more. It had nothing [to do] with legal cost, as he always paid his lawyers,” she explained.
Banton is scheduled to be deported to Jamaica in 2019.
Days after his 2011 conviction, the Reggae entertainer won a Grammy Award for his album Before Dawn. His other albums include ‘Til Shiloh (1995), Inna Heights (1997) and Unchained Spirit (2000).