Sky high bail for Mad Cobra - Embattled artiste released on J$19 million bond
Following news that veteran Jamaican dancehall artiste Mad Cobra was arrested in the US, New York-based attorney Stephen Drummond is urging the public to reserve judgement until the law takes its course.
Mad Cobra, whose given name is Ewart Everton Brown, was detained on Tuesday by deputies in Florence County in South Carolina. According to the cops, the 55-year-old was driving a black BMW SUV when he was stopped for speeding. During a routine stop and search, two kilos of cocaine and a Beretta 9mm pistol were allegedly recovered from the vehicle.
Drummond explained, "When you combine both factors, the gun possession outside of the home, if one does not have a permit to have it, with cocaine, in today's climate, those cases are treated very, very seriously. Gun by itself can be a lot, especially in the south ... ."
The deejay was released on bail yesterday after his US$125,000 (approximately J$19.3 million) bond was posted.
While unsure of the specific facts of Brown's case, Drummond opined that that bail is high.
"That's very high. Bail and bond is predicated at a determination of the likeliness of someone to return to court. I don't know of his criminal history, but for a first time offender, gun possession even with cocaine possession, the idea of bond being at $100-and-something thousand, that's very high," he said.
"Another factor could be the seriousness of the offence and another factor is the strength of the prosecution's case. Those are generally the factors. They take a person's criminal history, they look at whether they have ties to the community and you look at the likelihood then of them coming back to court."
He explained that among the factors that contribute to the exceptionally high bond are, "Generally when someone is down on bail, they require them to surrender their passport, restrict their travel, and if someone plans to leave the state or leave the jurisdiction, it will require them to notify the court or the probation officer, something of that nature to make sure that they are compliant. The court just basically wants to ensure that the person returns to court."
Ensuring that Brown is treated fairly, Drummond noted that every defendant is entitled the presumption of innocence and is entitled their day in court.
"Until the jury speaks, it's a long way from an arrest, conviction and sentencing."