A lawyer for convicted Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton says a U.S. federal appellate court has agreed to hear his appeal.
The Grammy-winning singer is serving a 10-year sentence for convictions on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges stemming from a 2009 arrest. He was convicted in 2011 following a sting operation.
In a Tuesday email, attorney Charles Ogletree says the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta will hold a hearing on the case.
COURTROOM ARTISTS SKETCH Chris O’Meara/AP A courtroom sketch of Grammy-winning Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton, at his sentencing on cocaine charges in Florida.
The decision comes after a panel of that court in 2012 upheld Banton’s convictions. His former defense lawyer had argued that a government informant improperly entrapped the singer.
Ogletree says Banton is pleased with the court’s decision. It’s not clear when the hearing will take place.
The British director, playwright and actor Kwame Kwei-Armah is to develop a musical, including a book, based on the life of Bob Marley.
Rather than be a traditional “jukebox” musical where the songs take precedence over plot, it will instead focus on a three-year period in Marley’s life that Kwei-Armah describes as “really dynamic”. Between 1975 and 1978 Marley survived an assassination attempt in Jamaica and moved to live in London, where he recorded classic albums such as Exodus.
“We have maybe 20 songs, but I’ve tried to make them come out of what I perceive to be an integrity that Bob would demand,” Kwei-Armah told the New York Times. “It’s not, ‘Here are some songs and how can I link them with some drama.’ There is an investigation into the man’s life, between him putting his life on the line and going into self-imposed exile for 18 months and while there, recording two of his biggest albums.”
Of the casting of the lead role, he said that “whoever takes on this icon doesn’t have to look like him. But he has to be able to generate his physical and spiritual and sexual energy in a way that will enthrall.”
The musical will debut in May 2015 at the Center Stage theatre in Baltimore, where Kwei-Armah is artistic director. He hinted at a possible life beyond its initial run: “If I can get it right, then we can construct it so it has the legs to travel.”