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Posted on Wed. Dec. 26, 2012 - 12:01 am EDT

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Banton juror denies misconduct

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A Florida juror who voted to convict Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton on drug charges has denied improperly researching the case during trial, despite a weekly newspaper’s report that quoted her as saying that she did.

Banton is serving a 10-year prison sentence for his convictions on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges stemming from a 2009 arrest. The Grammy winner faces an additional five years for his conviction on a related gun possession charge, but his resentencing hearing was postponed to investigate the report of juror misconduct.

Affleck won’t run

Ben Affleck is taking his name off the list of possible candidates for U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat, which would be open if the Democratic senator from Massachusetts is confirmed as secretary of state.

Affleck says in a Monday posting on his Facebook page that while he loves the political process, he will not be running for public office.

Speculation about the Cambridge, Mass., native rose slightly when he did not completely rule out a Senate bid during an appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday.

In his Facebook posting, Affleck says he would continue working with the Eastern Congo Initiative, a nonprofit organization that helps direct humanitarian aid to the war-torn region, and for other causes.

Pacino lauded

New York City police whistle-blower Frank Serpico says Al Pacino played him better than he did himself.

Pacino played the detective who exposed widespread police corruption in the 1973 movie “Serpico.” The Daily News interviewed the real-life Serpico in Ghent, in New York’s Hudson Valley, for a story published Sunday.

The 76-year-old retiree spoke weeks after the death of fellow whistle-blowing ex-detective David Durk.

Serpico smiled as an interviewer noted he is ranked No. 41, just behind Lassie, on the American Film Institute’s list of movie heroes. He says that’s “good company.”

Happy birthday

Among celebrity birthdays today: Actor Donald Moffat is 82. Actor Caroll Spinney is 79. Singer Abdul “Duke” Fakir is 77. “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh is 67. Keyboardist Bob Carpenter is 66. Humorist David Sedaris is 56. Drummer Lars Ulrich is 49. Singer Audrey Wiggins is 45. Guitarist J is 45. Actor Jared Leto is 41. Singer Chris Daughtry is 33. Actress Beth Behrs is 27.


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