*An overcrowded prison system could translate in to an early release for Buiu Banton.
Media sources report the dancehall reggae singer could be among more than 6,000 nonviolent inmates that the Justice Department says will be released starting this weekend.
If he makes the cut, the release will mark the end of a 10-year drug trafficking sentence that resulted after he was arrested on drug and firearm charges in 2009. The firearm charge was dismissed in May. News of the early release comes as Banton approaches the halfway mark of his sentence.
According to BET, inmates became eligible for release as of Sunday (Nov. 1) via the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s reform effort to end overcrowding. The commission moved last year to reduce maximum sentences for non-violent offenders by an average of 18 percent.
Around 16,000 inmates are expected to be freed within the first year, and 45,000 over the next several years, the network notes.
For Banton, the early release represents the light at the end of the tunnel, in light of him maintaining his innocence throughout his time in court. After being sentenced in 2011, the entertainer (born Mark Myrie) was denied an appeal this past January.
In a side note, last month, the jury foreman in Banton’s trial was found guilty of contempt.