Has Vybz Kartel been released? Inside his prison sentence and when he’ll be free

4 June 2024, 11:39

Is Vybz Kartel free yet and how long has he been in prison?
Is Vybz Kartel free yet and how long has he been in prison? Picture: Getty Images

The dancehall artist has had his 2014 murder conviction overturned by a judge in Jamaica.

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Vybz Kartel, the Jamaican dancehall artist, has had his conviction for murder overturned by UK judges. However, he has now faced a legal setback after a judge has denied the rapper bail.

The 48-year-old was originally given a life sentence in 2014 for the killing of his associate Clive 'Lizard' Williams in Jamaica.

Now, he has appealed this conviction, but when does Vybz Kartel get released and how long has he been in prison for?

Vybz Cartel pictured in 2005.
Vybz Kartel pictured in 2005. Picture: Getty
  1. Has Vybz Kartel been released from jail?

    The courts are still deciding whether 48-year-old Kartel and his co-defendants will face a retrial or be freed.

    The appeal argued that a juror accused of trying to bribe others should have been thrown off his trial, and authorities will decide whether the case will face a retrial.

    His 64-day-trial was one of the longest in Jamaican history, and ended with Kartel being sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in jail.

    The dancehall artist has been in prison for a decade.
    The dancehall artist has been in prison for a decade. Picture: Getty

    On May 30 2024, Vybz Kartel was ordered to remain in jail alongside his co-accused after judges rejected their initial appeal.

    Justice Thomas told a packed court room at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston that, “In view of the fact that their appeal is not yet determined they should remain in custody until their appeal is concluded.

    “That is until a verdict of acquittal is entered or there is a decision for a retrial,” Thomas said.

  2. When is Vybz Kartel's Retrial?

    Over a month after the announcement of Vybz Kartel's release from prison in March 2024, his retrial date has been set.

    The dancehall artist is set to attend a hearing starting on 10 June to decide if he should be released for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

    Court documents obtained by Dance Hall Mag show that the hearing is set to last five days following the overturn of his conviction.

    Judge Thomas stated that as long as the issue of the retrial is pending, the charge of murder still remains in effect.

  3. How long was Vybz Kartel in prison for?

    In 2014, Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Azim Palmer, was sentenced to 35 year minimum in jail.

    This sentence was then reduced to 32.5 years in prison, but has now been freed due to his conviction being quashed due to juror misconduct.

    The artist released numerous songs and projects whilst in prison, many of which have been critically acclaimed.

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