4
| Crime |

Buju Banton's Attorney: "We Had Ten Really Good Issues for the Appeal"

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

The Department of Justice should have filed a response to Buju Banton's appeal on Friday, but as has been the government's style throughout the more than two-year-long saga, it's dragging its heels.

Now federal prosecutors have until February 10 to counter arguments made in the hulking, 17,000-word appeal. 

"We had ten really good issues for the appeal, literally ten," Markus said in a recent interview with New Times. "If you raise ten issues, I think it takes away from the central issues in the case. So we decided to keep it to our three best."

Among the core issues of the appeal, which Markus filed at the end of December, are whether a shady confidential informant entrapped the reggae artist and whether Banton was denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

Buju's appeal raises several other concerns, including that the government has been vindictive in its pursuit of a conviction.

A Tampa jury found Buju guilty of three counts in February 2010, including possession of a gun.

The gun in question was hidden in the car of James Mack, a man Buju had never met or spoken with. But, as previously discussed on this blog, Judge James Moody tossed the gun charge because Buju was hundreds of miles away from the drug deal and had no way of knowing that Mack decided to pack heat for his drive from Georgia to a Sarasota warehouse, where he attempted to buy several kilos.

The government, however, filed a cross-notice of appeal, which allows it to challenge Moody's decision to toss out the gun charge.

It has not yet been determined if the governemnt will actually challenge Moody's decision, but doing so would only seem to bolster Markus' argument of vindictiveness.

Markus and his team will get one last chance to respond after the DOJ submits its response in February.

The United States Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta will be tasked with reviewing and ruling on the appeal.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.