Some Jamaicans Hold Firm to Buju’s Innocence

Caribbean Life reports that supporters of popular reggae/dancehall deejay Mark Myrie (also known as Buju Banton) are sad but convinced that last week’s guilty verdict is based on Buju’s anti-homosexual stance. See excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Distressed that jurors in Tampa, Florida agreed Myrie is guilty of three of the four charges he was indicted—conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense, and using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offense—some claim he will be vindicated in appeal because the decision was baseless. Disappointed that the jury took 11 hours over a two-day period to decide the fate of the 37-year-old they believed Myrie would be vindicated of all charges.

Shock and disbelief were evident when jurors returned the guilty verdict. During the four-day trial, it seemed an almost national consensus was reached that victory was imminent. A majority of Jamaicans held firm to the fact, the entertainer was not guilty and would be freed of all charges. Their conviction may have been compounded in December when bail was granted and furthered when a judge permitted Banton to perform at his own fundraiser in Miami. The fact the deejay’s Before the Dawn CD was voted best in the reggae category one day before his trial at the Grammy Awards bolstered hopes that the title was a prophetic preview of the outcome of his case.

[. . .] The two unrelated events provided argument for the controversial trial which many are convinced was a set-up, baseless and to many proved only that Myrie is guilty of boasting, talking too much and too trusting of a stranger who in actuality was an informant for the Federal government. [. . .] At press time a sentencing date was still pending. Myrie could serve a lifetime in jail with 15 years a minimum. He was returned to custody immediately after the verdict was read.

“Our life and our destiny are sometimes pre-destined and no matter where this journey takes me, remember I fought the good fight,” Myrie said after hearing the verdict. “It was a great man that said my head is bloody but still unbowed I love you all thank you for your support,” he added.

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