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David Rowe, a Miami base lawyer who said he advised Buju Banton to take a plea deal shortly after his arrest on cocaine charges in 2009, says it’s unlikely that the singer will succeed in an appeal against his conviction.
In an interview with Radio Jamaica earlier this week, Rowe said Buju Banton should have thrown in the towel long time ago due to the caliber of evidence the United States government had against him.
“When I read the probable cause affidavit, I suggested that he immediately take a plea which would have probably resulted in a two or three year resolution to this case,” Professor Rowe said.
“But he elected not to do so, he elected to hire attorneys and run a very, very exotic defence of entrapment but the entrapment defence does not work in federal court…To tell a jury that the reason why I did something was because I was not prone to do it and somebody overcame my will is very difficult to explain. It’s statistically a very difficult defence,” he added.
Buju Banton was on Tuesday (Feb 22) was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine, of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence and using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence.
The jurors, who returned with their decision on day two of deliberations, found him not guilty of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence.
Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is facing 15 years to life in Federal prison. His attorney, David Markus, has indicated that an appeal will be filed, as well as a request for bail pending a hearing.
But Professor Rowe said that as far back as the night of Buju’s arrest – December 10, 2009 – he recommended that the singer not go to trial to avoid being hit with a heavy prison term.
Buju Banton second trial began last Monday February 14, a day after he won his first Grammy. The jury began deliberating Friday, resuming deliberation Tuesday after a holiday in the United States the previous day, Monday.
Banton is now in a holding cell awaiting sentencing.