No Early Release for Reggae Superstar Buju Banton


Jamaica-observer.com

DESPITE reports that reggae singer Buju Banton may have an early release from prison, sources close to the entertainer say this is not the case.

“Unfortunately, it's a rumour,” Rosemary Duncan, coordinator of the Buju Banton Defence Support Committee, told the Jamaica Observer.

Last month, the United States Justice Department announced it would be releasing about 6,600 inmates early from prison in an effort to reduce overcrowding and provide relief to drug offenders who received harsh sentences.

This would be the largest onetime release of federal prisoners.

According to officials, one-third of the amount are said to be foreign citizens who would be deported.

Duncan, who formed the defence support committee in 2011 to champion Buju Banton's cause, said she has been in touch with the artiste. Buju Banton, who was arrested in 2009, was convicted on cocaine charges in February 2011.

He’s serving a mandatory 10-year sentence at the McRae Correctional Facility in Georgia. The artiste is scheduled to be deported to Jamaica in 2019.

Days after his conviction, Buju Banton (given name Mark Myrie) won a Grammy Award for his album Before Dawn. His other albums include ‘Til Shiloh (1995), Inna Heights (1997) and Unchained Spirit (2000).

— Brian Bonitto

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