While anticipating the results of an ongoing investigation regarding possible juror misconduct during his drug trial, embattled Reggae icon, Buju Banton will be made to wait in his pursuit of higher learning behind bars.
Buju, who was sentenced to a prison term of 10 years inside a Florida courtroom, indicated shortly thereafter that he would pursue a Masters Degree in political science and economics. However, Buju's lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba revealed that the Grammy-winning singjay's educational journey has been halted due to the investigation into a possible juror violation during his February 2011 trial.
Originally, Buju Banton served his prison term while at a low security federal prison in Groesbeck, Texas before being moved to a Miami-based facility due to safety concerns. After successfully delving into his studies for the last 18 months, Buju's time in the classroom remains on hold now that he's housed at the Pinellas County Jail in Tampa, FL until the current investigation is resolved.
Buju's plight was seen as a wise move following his conviction. A recent study by the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York shows inmates who take college classes behind bars are four times more likely to stay out of trouble once released. Additionally, the study revealed that college prison programs save U.S. Taxpayers around US$900,000 per 100 students every two years.
Judge James Moody, who presided over Buju's conviction hearing and subsequent sentencing, gave the entertainer a lifeline last October. when he granted his request for an investigation into a juror's alleged violation of federal court guidelines. This as Buju's re-sentencing on reinstated gun charges stemming from the case was postponed.
Terri Wright, the juror in question, disclosed to a Florida newspaper that she studies aspects of the Pinkerton Law, a rule used by federal prosecutors to link Buju with an illegal gun belonging to a co-conspirator. However, Wright maintains such research had no impact on her verdict in the matter.
Researching facts regarding federal cases constitutes a violation and, if proven, can constitute a mistrial. If Wright is found guilty, she could face contempt of court charges as well as a fine.