Incarcerated reggae superstar, Buju Banton maybe able to get a big break in his case following his Lawyers appeal in Georgia Appeal Court earlier this month.
According to new reports, Banton could walk free from his 10-year sentence on drug-related charges after his attorneys discovered that the U.S. government may have violated the Speedy Trial Act.
The act states that any defendant involved in a case must be brought to trial by the government within a 70 day window; a right guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment in the American constitution. Additionally, said right is generally afforded to defendants so that they not subjected to unreasonably lengthy incarceration prior to a fair trial.
Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was arrested in December of 2009, but only face trial in September 2010, almost 10 months after his arrest. Furthermore, Federal Judge James Moody pushed back the singer’s trial date several times before the commencement of the trial which ended in a mistrial.
Banton’s second trial took place in February 2011, four months after his first trial ended. He was then convicted on three charges and sentence to 10 years behind bars.
According to writer Jodee Brown of the Examiner.com, The U.S Supreme Court has developed a four part test considering length of the delay, the reasons for the delay, the defendant’s assertion of his right to a speedy trial, and the prejudice to the defendant in judging speedy trial claims. Any violations of the Speedy Trial Act could spark the dismissal of a criminal case given the state’s inability to bring the case to trial within a reasonable amount of time.
Buju Banton was recently moved from a Texas prison and is now housed in Miami, pending the outcome of the appeal in Georgia Appeal Court.