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Buju juror convicted of misconduct

Published:Tuesday | October 6, 2015 | 10:07 PMLivern Barrett

Buju juror convicted of misconduct

THE WOMAN who served as foreman of the jury that convicted Jamaican reggae superstar Buju Banton on drug charges in the United States (US) has been found guilty of misconduct.

Forty-seven-year-old Terri Wright was convicted yesterday after a two-hour bench trial by US District Court Judge James Moody.

Wright's conviction comes more than four years after the same judge handed the Grammy-winning entertainer a 10-year prison sentence.

Wright was given five months of probation and 40 hours of community service. Moody also ordered that she write a research paper on the cost of Banton's six-year trial to taxpayers and the impact of juror misconduct on the judicial system.

She was instructed to do her community service at Metropolitan Ministries, a charity group that serves poor and homeless families. As part of her research assignment, the former juror was also ordered to interview court experts about the judicial system and has 120 days to complete her sentence.

Wright has, however, appealed the verdict, putting her sentence on hold.

After the verdict was announced, Moody told Wright that she willfully violated his order not to research the case.

Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, was convicted by a federal jury in Tampa Bay, Florida, on drug charges months after he and two other men were arrested for trying to arrange a deal to buy and distribute 11 pounds of cocaine.

More than a year after the trial ended, Wright revealed during an interview with a newspaper reporter that, after testimony ended each day, she would go to her car and write down notes before going home and researching the case.

An audio recording of that conversation was played during her trial.

Jurors in the US are repeatedly warned not to conduct independent research on cases they are hearing.