With just days before reggae icon Buju Banton knowing his faith, a handful of his celebrity friends is stepping up to support him in this critical time of his life.
Last Thursday, Banton’s legal team headed by David Markus, filed a document asking for a sentence below the mandatory minimum of 15 years behind bars, which the lawyers are contending would be cruel and unusual punishment.
Part of the documents are letters from well known celebrities including Stephen Marley, Atlanta Hawks center Etan Thomas, vibe Magazine editor Rob Kenner and actor Danny Glover.
In his letter to the court, 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.”
Kenner of Vibe Magazine said:
“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.”
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”.
Atlanta Hawks NBA player Thomas describes Banton as “an extremely positive inspiration” in his life and “countless people around the world, especially black men”.
“…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.”
Buju Banton will return to court on June 23rd for his sentencing hearing, after he was convicted of three of four drugs and gun related charges in February.