Meek Mill is getting a new trial.
Philadelphia’s District Attorney Office announced Monday that it supported granting rapper Mill a new trial, as a small crowd of supporters gathered in the rain outside of the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia cheered.
Cheers erupt as #MeekMill legal team announces Philly DA’s decision to support new trial for rapper. Meeks lawyer says they will appeal to the Pa. Supreme Court @NBCPhiladelphia pic.twitter.com/pY3JefJwqS
— Alicia Lozano (@aliciavlozano) April 16, 2018
The Philadelphia-born rapper was in court for a hearing Monday on a two to four year prison sentence, administered last November for probation violation.
Assistant District Attorney Liam Riley stated that the DA’s office agreed with Meek Mill’s legal team that his case should be re-heard and also questioned the lack of lawfulness in the original arrest that started it all, reports The Inquirer.
Ten years ago, the rapper was arrested for drug dealing and gun possession. At the time, he was sentenced to eight months in prison and later paroled in 2009. After that he was given five years of probation. Since then, he has been unsuccessful in closing this chapter for good, thanks in large part to Judge Genece E. Brinkley. Brinkley last sentenced him for probation violation due to a fight in an airport (though the charges were dropped) and reckless driving — on a dirt bike in 2017.
Many have rallied behind Mill, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, showing support through protests, viral social media campaigns, and formal statements. Fellow rappers haven’t been coy in expressing how they feel he’s being treated unjustly.
Local government officials have also noted their support. Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) said that Mill’s case made it clear that “we need to work to make our criminal justice system more fair, more equitable, and more focused on rehabilitation.”
One thing has become clear from this renewed attention — we need to work to make our criminal justice system more fair, more equitable, and more focused on rehabilitation.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) April 12, 2018
The DA’s office decision is a positive move in the right direction, but his fate still rests in the hands of Brinkley–who many fear has a conflict of interest informing her handling of Mill’s case. Brinkley would either need to overturn her charges, or Mill’s team would need to be able to prove her incompetency in the matter once and for all. In the meantime, his team plans to also file for his immediate release. For now, the ball is in her court.