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Reggae icon's son denied bond reduction

The youngest son of reggae star Peter Tosh has been denied a reduction in bail by prosecutors in New Jersey. The young man, whose attorneys presented YouTube videos in court, is facing charges for drug possession after authorities reportedly found more than 65 pounds of marijuana in his car in June.

The YouTube video was designed to show prosecutors and the judge that the young man's family ties would provide adequate motivation for him to remain within the jurisdiction while awaiting trial. They argued that the man's family ties should be considered instead of enforcing a $200,000 bond. The defendant has been kept in the Bergen County Jail for four months because he has not been able to secure enough money for his bail. Many defendants find themselves in this situation; even though they are unlikely to flee the jurisdiction, they are forced to remain in custody. It is important to remember that these people have not been convicted of a crime, but they are still kept in jail to prevent them from fleeing.

Media reports show that the man's father was an active part of Bob Marley's Wailers, which is one of the most successful reggae bands in history. That man achieved fame in the U.S. when he recorded a song with Mick Jagger in 1978. Both the man and his son have been active in marijuana legalization campaigns throughout the years, with the 33-year-old son advocating for the medical benefits of the drug.

Officials say they denied the bond reduction because the man was not only found with the marijuana, but he was also driving without a license and allegedly had bottles of alcohol on the front seat of his rental car. He is formally charged with two counts of DUI, along with driving on a suspended license, open container violations and at least one moving violation.

In this case, the man's attorneys were unsuccessful at arguing for a bond reduction. In many other situations, though, these arguments can carry weight, allowing some defendants to be released from custody so they can await trial at home. Defendants deserve the opportunity to keep working and providing for their family, even as they await further legal proceedings.

Source: www.nj.com, "Judge declines to reduce bail for son of reggae legend Peter Tosh after pot bust" Cliffview Pilot, Oct. 12, 2013

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