DESPITE Wednesday’s unsuccessful bid, Professor Charles Ogletree — part of reggae singer Buju Bantonâs legal team — is vowing to continue the fight to have his client’s conviction reversed.
“We will be fighting for Buju Banton’s freedom,” said Olgetree, a professor at Harvard Law School, in a written response to the Jamaica Observer’s queries.
On Wednesday, a United States Appeal Court dismissed the request to have the reggae artiste’s conviction overturned to secure a new trial. But Ogletree, who, along with Max Stern comprise Buju Banton’s legal team, is undaunted.
“We have not lost the appeal. The 11th Circuit made it clear that the entire Appellate Court should hear his case. We will present our arguments for a reversal of his conviction to the entire Court in an En Banc hearing later this spring,” he said.
Buju Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, is currently serving a mandatory 10-year prison sentence for a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The 41-year-old is scheduled to be released in 2019. He has filed a motion requesting an early release under new federal drug sentencing guidelines.
He was convicted in February 2011, days after winning a Grammy award for his album, Before the Dawn. His other albums include ‘Til Shiloh (1995), Inna Heights (1997) and Unchained Spirit (2000).
“We are grateful to the people of Jamaica and around the world who have been steadfast in fighting for justice for Buju Banton!,” Ogletree concluded.