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US judge tosses gun conviction against Buju Banton, says juror should face contempt charge

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TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida has tossed a 2011 gun conviction against Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton after concluding a juror did independent research into the case during the trial.

Banton is serving a 10-year sentence for convictions on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges stemming from a 2009 arrest. He faced an additional five years for the gun charge.

U.S. District Judge James Moody on Wednesday said jury foreman Terri Wright should face a criminal contempt charge for researching the federal Pinkerton rule, which involves liability among conspirators for the actions of other conspirators.

The verdict on the gun charge depended on the Pinkerton rule. Moody threw out that verdict and said it was up to the U.S. government to decide whether to retry Banton on that charge.

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