Monday morning, Philadelphia Judge Genece Brinkley officially denied a request from the attorney representing rapper Meek Mill to release him on bail — saying the rapper is a flight risk and a potential “danger to the community.”
The rapper is currently in prison after receiving a steep sentence for violating his probation earlier this year. Last week, Meek Mill’s attorneys asked the Pennsylvania Superior Court to reconsider Brinkley’s decision to put him behind bars, but the court denied that motion and sent it back to the Court of Common Pleas. Meek Mill’s team isn’t giving up despite the mounting challenges, and has filed a motion to appeal his case.
This legal saga stretches back to 2008 for the rapper — who was born Robert Williams — with gun and drug charges, and probation violations stemming from those charges. He’s been going toe-to-toe with Brinkley ever since. Many observers suspect Brinkley is acting out a petty vendetta against the rapper.
The fact that an almost ten-year-old case continues to plague Mill has been widely criticized as unjust by fellow rappers such as Jay-Z and other commentators like Rev. Al Sharpton. His case is a very high-profile example of one of the criminal justice system’s biggest challenges: the ugly revolving door effect, or recidivism.
“It’s unfortunate that he is suffering the outcome that he currently is. However, it’s quite typical of the way in which our criminal justice system responds to crime, but also the way that system functions on a daily basis,” Bill Cobb, the deputy director for the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice, told ThinkProgress regarding Meek Mill’s ongoing saga. “The way that it is designed, there are these roadblocks and these barriers that are really drivers that increase recidivism, and that don’t positively contribute to public safety.”