Imprisoned reggae star Mark Myrie aka Buju Banton and his friends are pleading to the court to have his sentence minimize from the 15 years minimum.
Banton’s attorney David Markus filed documents Thursday (June 9) requesting that Banton’s sentence be lightened. Citing Banton’s limited participation in the drug buy, his charitable work in Jamaica and his otherwise clean record, his attorney believes Banton is entitled to a lesser sentencing.
The documents filed also includes supporting statements from actor Danny Glover, Stephen Marley, Vibe Magazine editor-at-large Rob Kenner and Atlanta Hawks center Etan Thomas and letters from four of Buju’s 15 children!
On February 22, 2011 Buju was found guilty of attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and using the wires to facilitate a drug trafficking offense back in 2009. He will be sentence on June 23rd.
Here are excerpts from some of the letters:
From his kids:
“My father is a great person. He always make us smile when he is around.”
“I love my father so much. He always care about us and encourages us to do the best we can and I miss him because there is no father like him.” - Jahazeil, 14
“My father is a very hardworking man who puts a lot of time — basically his entire life — into his music and family.” Jodian, 21 – Banton’s eldest child.
“My father was always there for me and I will be there for him. He was the only person that understands the way I feel… My father is the world to me, and I am to him.” Jahleel, 7
Shadai, 18, described her father as “the backbone of my family….without him many things would not be possible. He is there for myself, my sisters and brothers, both financially and emotionally. He motivates each of us when we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. How then could we picture a comfortable life without our main source of comfort?”
Danny Glover describes himself as a friend of Banton’s, and noted that the artiste is “considered one of the most influential reggae musicians” and that his “Grammy-Award winning music” addresses every aspect of life and “feeds the heart, mind, body and soul, bringing a message of hope”. “Not only is Mr Myrie a great musician with a great deal of work ahead of him, he is also a role model, philanthropist, and spiritual leader of the community.”
Rob Kenner of Vibe Magazine: “He is religious and has travelled to the Holy Land to attend prayers in Golgotha Ethiopian Monastery, Jerusalem. Mark Myrie is one of the leading voices of his generation. His music sheds light on such issues as the unrelenting violence and abject poverty pervasive in the Third World.”
Etan Thomas, of NBA team Atlanta Hawks, “His music helped keep me out of trouble and encouraged me to perform to the best of my ability, no matter the challenge. …It is for this reason I hope to have Mr Myrie included as one of the fathers… in my book on fatherhood: a guide to being a good father. Mr Myrie willingly accepted to participate without any request for financial gain. He is truly a humble man who makes himself accessible to all who reach out to him.”
Stephen Marley, the son of reggae icon Bob Marley, said that Banton was like a brother to him and asked the judge to be “compassionate to Mark.”