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After three days of negotiations the jurors at Buju Banton's trial for conspiracy to purchase and distribute cocaine have failed to reach a verdict.
At 9.52 am Jamaican time yesterday the Jamaica Observer, the only Jamaican publication with a reporter on the ground at Sam M Gibbons Court in Tampa Florida, published on its website and Twitter page that the jury was split down the middle as to Banton's guilt or innocence. At 2.37pm the Observer reported that a verdict could not be reached.
United States Judge Tim Moody ruled a mistrial then announced that a new trial would begin in December.
On Friday Buju's case became the sixth biggest trending topic on Twitter and the micro-blogging site was awash with rumours that the case had ended in both innocent and guilty verdicts.
Fans flew into to Tampa over the weekend from New York, Los Angeles and Jamaica to fast, pray and show support for Buju. A group of Rasta elders took up residence at his Gargamel studios on Carlisle Avenue to chant for his freedom.
Buju was offered a plea bargain for a two year sentence but risked life imprisonment and hefty fines to plead his innocence. Banton's co-defendants, Ian Thomas and James Mack, both pled guilty to their charges and will be sentenced in November.
A transcript of Buju's recorded phone conversations with Thomas, an unidentified male, and an undercover police detective has been published at http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2010/PDFs/banton.pdf.
Meanwhile Bounty Killer was granted $500,000 bail in his assault case and ordered to return to court on November 9th.
During his time in prison Buju finished recording his Before The Dawn album, due for release today, September 28th.
|Posted by rodman on 09.28.2010|
|The messanger who has been sent to make streight path was not good enough but sandals|
|Posted by Robbie on 09.28.2010|
|BUJU THE WHOLE WORLD IS PRAYING FOR YOUR FREEDOM HOPE IT WILL COME SOON KEEP THE FAITH MY BROTHER FREEDOM IS A MUST.|
|Posted by Xim on 09.29.2010|
|Babylon you got free up the 'general'. The man is innocent. That's clear entrapment by the evil minded informer. Buju, the Dawn is coming my man. The Darkest hour of the night is just before Dawn. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.|
|Posted by sally graham mchendry on 09.30.2010|
|Good luck Buju brother, love your music dont care if your innocent or guilty. Much love.
I love my mum.
|Posted by concern on 10.09.2010|
|The united states justice system is nothing but a money making thing and will set any one up to make money Mr. Presedent please look into our system|
|Posted by chevy on 10.09.2010|
|Buju you remined me of my brother. I saw if you are a tru cocaine dealer you would have been making long before the frame you and you would be more verse on drug dealing . and by the way were did all that drug come from that federal agent kneww about it. I always ask my self how the rich man get it how the movie star get it tell the feds to follow them they will fine the source leave you buju alone wasting your time in prision for no reason . and that is why the jury was not conculsive think judge if it was your child . he is innocent let him go mistrial for a reason i am praying god is not sleeping|
|Posted by tichmek on 10.14.2010|
|Let justice be served Reggae star or anything....I grew up listening to your music as well loved DESTINYIf its true then hey.. u deserve it, u can sing in jail too no problem brethren|
|Posted by K-K on 10.14.2010|
|JAH WILL MAKE A WAY..WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND..WHY WAS YOU EVEN TALKING TO THIS MAN REGARDING DRUGS...FROM TIME YOU ARE DEALING WITH DRUGS YOU ARE DEALING WITH SATAN..rnGIVE NUFF THANKS TO THE BLACK GOD AND BLACK GODDESS THROUGH THE BLACK CHIRST..AMEN-RA|
|Posted by tinashe on 02.01.2011|
|I like you Buju. God bless you rasta.|
|Posted by papashante bushman on 02.15.2011|
|Well a tru rasta dont use concaine we know it is juss a setup by Babylon dem juss want to finish the rastafari inity.|
|Posted by sylvester \'radikal yute\' khaki on 05.09.2011|
|Bomboclat babilon wa arrest rastaman singers ca dem sing bout rightiuosness and purity which provock dem system. Well d general is free and babilon mi tellem louad and clear fyah pan yuh pussy buttybwoy.|
|Posted by Sylvester khaki\'RADIKAL YUTE\' on 06.19.2011|
|Longtime Babylon wa inpercenate rasta but mi tell dem loud and clear 'Free Buju Banton'.|
|Posted by BIG T on 06.21.2011|
|I mon summon some higher science, come fe deal wid Bobylon. Watch and see whata agowan. Power comes from Di MOST HIGH. Buju, JAH NA SLEEP. Jah T sid dat.|
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