In an exclusive interview with the New York Times, Terri Wright, a juror on Buju Banton’s federal drug and gun trial, says she researched certain aspects of the case to have a better grasp of them when deliberation came around. “I would get in the car, just write my notes down so I could remember, and I would come home and do the research,” she says.
Standard jury instructions for federal trials tell jurors to “not attempt to research any fact, issue or law related to this case, whether by discussion with others, by library or Internet research, or by any other means or source.”
The recent revelations have forced a federal judge in Florida to postpone a re-sentencing hearing for the Jamaican reggae singer to investigate the report of juror misconduct. Banton is serving a 10-year prison sentence on two drug charges. The Grammy winner faces an additional five years on a related gun possession charge.
Banton’s attorneys are asking U.S. District Judge James Moody to grant a new trial. They argued on Tuesday that the juror’s research may have affected the jury’s deliberations.
Earlier, Chokwe Lumumba , Buju’s newly appointed attorney, had this to say, “The result on the gun charge is obviously unjust. And I can see full well why the judge saw fit to throw it out,” Lumumba says. “Buju wasn’t even there when the gun was possessed. There’s very flimsy evidence as far as we can see that he would have actually known what was going on.”