Busy Signal’s sentencing hearing took place today in Minnesota Federal Court, and it was a good day. Boomshots caught up with his manager Shane Brown who gave us the full scoop.
The sentencing guidelines for absconding bail was between 12 and 18 months. But Busy’s lawyer Bill Mauzy was actually asking the judge for Busy to be released today, based on time already served. Still taking into consideration that the guidelines for the sentence was 12-18 months.
The good thing about today is to have some form of closure to know what exactly Busy’s status is rather than having him sitting in there not knowing what’s going on.
As it was going on I was definitely getting a very very good feeling. Because after our lawyer presented why Busy should be released, the prosecution spoke and he wasn’t really being harsh on Busy. And then when the judge spoke, he spoke for a very long time and he said he was very impressed with what Busy has done with himself since 10 years ago. He said we all need to consider that the purpose of the justice system is to rehabilitate someone, but Busy has just done it naturally. And he’s impressed that he’s become this international star and he’s also been an artist that has kept out of trouble.
What the judge said impressed him the most was that Busy was part of a school program where he would go around Jamaica to 20 different high schools and gave speeches about abstinence from sex and HIV and all of that. So the judge was very impressed that even though he became this international star he took the time out to do all these things, as well as he donated computers to high schools. The judge said these things have to be taken into account because it says a lot for his character.
Even when the judge was delivering the sentence of six months, he was telling Busy to remember that he’s already served four months, so it’s just two more months he’s looking at. So he was trying to tell him that he went beyond the guideline of the sentence, which was 12-18 months… but he gave him six.
The judge asked Busy if he had anything to say. He told the judge that he has done wrong, and he is sorry, and he just wants to go home. The judge also asked Busy about the song that he did “Nah Go Jail Again.” The judge said he has the lyrics in front of him and he has also watched the video. So he wanted Busy to explain what is the meaning of this song. Was the song to be interpreted as a slap in the face of the US justice system or what?
Busy explained to him that the song was saying that he has been to jail before, and jail is not a very nice place. So he is encouraging people like himself never to do anything wrong and not to go back to that place again.
You have to give a lot of credit to Bill Mauzy, Busy’s lawyer. He also went flew to Jamaica. He was with us last week and he went around and he interviewed the pastor where grew up, interviewed his grandmother, and Marcia Griffiths was interviewed as well. He made a very good report about Busy’s character and presented a DVD to the judge. And the judge kept on saying that he watched the DVD.
And also the concert that Busy did in Gambia in December 2010. He did a concert in Gambia. And the stadium was filled to capacity with 60,000 people. He was the only artist on the show. Busy has a song called “Praise and Worship”—it’s a gospel song. Busy held the mic out to the crowd for over four minutes. Just imagine 60,000 people singing that song word for word with Busy not saying a word.
So all these things came up in the hearing today. Believe me, that judge is a real cool judge. He listened and took everything into account. But most of all I can’t say enough about the presentation from Busy’s lawyer.
The judge said he has two more months. On November 21st he’ll be out.
He’s in a very rough prison—apart from the prison being rough, Busy’s also a strict vegetarian and they don’t cater to his needs as well as we would like. He hasn’t been eating a lot and he has lost a lot of weight. And the judge said today that he’s in one of the roughest prisons there is in American. Sherbourne County in Minnesota.
Today was a great day and November 21st will be an even greater day. We might have to celebrate in Madison Square Garden!
Busy isn’t one to react a lot. For a long time I didn’t see a smile on his face before today. He’s thankful for the mercy of the judge. At the end of the day it’s important to stress. But it’s what have you done in those 10 years with yourself. That is what played a vital role in the decision.
So Busy has two more months in prison, and then after that he can stay in America for no longer than 45 days before he goes back to Jamaica. That’s 45 days after the two-month sentence. We’re not sure 100 % what we’re gonna do within that 45 days yet. But everything continues as it was before Busy left. The album is still there and it’s being loved a lot, the Reggae Music Again. And we’re just gonna continue promoting the album and working on some singles.
I think No Doubt will be glad to hear that he’ll bout out in two months. I’m sure they’re gonna try to convince us to do some sort of promotional appearance before he goes back. It’s all positive movements moving forward from here.
Reshma B Reasons with Busy in better days