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Years later, the circumstances of the conviction were found to be highly suspect However, he remained on probation for the original crimes, beginning a painful, decade-plus-long journey of countless probation hearings and numerous trips to prison.

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Meek MillChart-topping Philadelphia rapper who received a career bump after a high-profile prison sentence. Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates in the nation when it comes to keeping people under court supervision after their release. According to a 2018 analysis by the Columbia University Justice Lab , the Keystone State has the highest incarceration rate in the Northeast and has experienced significant increases even as the rates in states like New York and New Jersey have declined. As U.S. community supervision rates are five to ten times the rate of European countries, Pennsylvania supervises its citizens at one of the highest rates in the Western world,” the analysis noted.

Best known for songs like Dreams and Nightmares” and Ima Boss,” Meek Mill released his fourth studio album, Championships,” last year, reaching the top of the Billboard album chart In July, he announced that he was starting a record label, Dream Chasers, under the corporate umbrella of Jay-Z’s entertainment Roc Nation.

Robert Rihmeek Williams was born on May 6, 1987, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His stage name, Meek Mill, came from his friends calling him Meek Millions, a play on making millions, because of his middle name.

Meek faced 19 counts when he finally goes before Judge Genece Brinkley for the first time. He waived a jury trial because of the costs, with Brinkley acquitting his co-defendants. She then found him guilty of seven charges, four of which concerned the gun. The misdemeanor offense of illegal carry” typically warrants a fine and house arrest; the rapper got two years in a county prison and eight years of probation.

Meek said he was carrying a gun, but ditched it before the incident. Graham said Meek allegedly pointed the gun at him. Officers found approximately $30,000 in cash which belonged to his cousin, William Bailey. Meek would spend several months in the county prison.

The District Attorney’s Office is pleased that the Pennsylvania Superior Court has validated our position that Robert Rihmeek Williams deserves a new trial before a court that has no appearance of partiality,” read a statement by the District Attorney’s Office.

A member of Philadelphia’s Narcotics Field Unit (NFU), Reggie Graham, claims to have seen Meek sell crack to an informant. However, the rapper and three of his cousins dispute the accusation since they say Meek was in a courtroom supporting his cousin who was on trial.

Travel restrictions and ultimately prison stints prohibited Meek from marketing the brutally honest 2017 Wins & Losses project in the manner it deserved. But W&L did permeate the 12-month news cycle that is the NBA. The album’s second song, Heavy Heart,” became the soundtrack many speculated LeBron James used to send subliminal shots toward former teammate Kyrie Irving when news broke that Irving wanted out of Cleveland.

The defense also accused the trial judge of bias for sending the entertainer back to prison over minor probation violations. The defense also accused the trial judge, Genece Brinkley, of bias for sending the entertainer back to prison over minor probation violations.

Meek Mill is no longer tied to decade-old criminal charges after a hearing Tuesday. But the Philadelphia rapper said his work reforming the criminal justice system is far from over.

An entire courtroom was in shock. Meek immediately began removing his jewelry. For McMonagle, it was the first time in his 33 years of practicing law that he, the district attorney and the probation department were all on the same page — and the judge refused to accept the will of the parties. The case sparked national headlines and inspired rallies and the hashtag #FREEMEEK. Jay Z slammed the sentence as heavy-handed and pledged to support the rapper. The case simultaneously provided yet another glimpse into a criminal justice system that had haunted Meek since he was 19 — and the community from which he comes for far longer.




While advocates moved to make the #FreeMeekMill movement symbolic of broader sentencing issues in the justice system, Mill’s lawyers worked to get their client released from prison. They began by pointing at Brinkley, alleging that the judge carried a vendetta ” against the rapper and her refusal to let Mill out on bail indicated that she needed to be removed from the case. The judge, meanwhile, has maintained that she has been fair in her decisions and that punishments occurred because Mill, by repeatedly violating the strict terms of his probation, thumbed his nose at ” the court.

But (see lyrics above) Championships is Mill’s story true and through. He’s a rose that grew from the cracked concrete of North Philadelphia. Sharpened his skills rap-battling on corners, and earned a rep as his music graduated from cyphers to mixtapes to chart-topping albums. Those bruised rose petals came with stories of losing a father before the first grade. Of forcing ends to meet when minimum wage wasn’t enough to keep a stove heated, let alone an entire house. Of constant run-ins with law enforcement that would become the story of his adult life. Championships, at its best, is a survivor’s tale.

Mill previously called the 12-year ordeal “mentally and emotionally challenging,” but said millions of people face the same issues. He became an activist for criminal justice reform since he was sent back to prison in 2017 for technical violations he blamed on his erratic travel schedule as his career soared.

The guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge — possession of a firearm — came after a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled in July that Mr. Williams would be granted a new trial and a new judge , overturning his 2008 conviction. Prosecutors for the district attorney’s office had backed Mr. Williams’s requests, telling the court that the office could no longer call its lone witness in the case, a Philadelphia police officer who had been found guilty by the department of lying and theft.

In the year since his release, Mill has pledged to continue to push for criminal justice reform in the hopes that others can avoid being placed in his situation. Earlier this year, he partnered with Jay-Z as founding members of the REFORM Alliance , a group that seeks to limit the number of people serving unfair probation and parole sentences. The group is currently pushing for the passage of legislation that would reform Pennsylvania’s probation and parole system and has raised millions to promote criminal justice reform.

Mill faced additional punishments in 2015 and 2016 for probation violations and had more years added onto the initial five-year probationary period. Mill’s team argued that Brinkley was being too strict about relatively minor infractions.

Mill may finally be in the clear, but the documentary stands as an indictment of a broken system. It raises serious concerns about just how much justice there is in our criminal justice system, particularly for the powerless—which Mill was when he was first arrested, and badly beaten, over a decade ago on what the film suggests were corrupt charges. And it raises questions about Meek himself; in the past, I’ve written that , while Mill’s case sheds light on inequities, we ought not to deify him: Meek Mill is no Nelson Mandela. Yet the Amazon doc—granted, it was produced by Mill loyalists—can only lead to a reconsideration of Mill, both as an evolving artist and as a newly-awakened social activist.

Assistant district attorney Paul George noted in court Tuesday that Williams had no criminal record before or since his original arrest a dozen years ago but added that even though he was a young man at the time, he was adult enough to admit he had a gun”.Meek Mill

The plea ended a decadelong legal battle that garnered national attention and became a symbol for criminal justice reform. Protesters uses their phones and listen to a speaker in front of a courthouse during a hearing for rapper Meek Mill, April 16, 2018 in Philadelphia.

Williams, who had called his ordeal mentally and emotionally challenging”, became an activist for criminal justice reform after he was sent back to prison in 2017 for technical probation violations he blamed on his erratic travel schedule. He spent five months behind bars before an appeals court granted him bail.

Mill’s case has drawn considerable attention, with racial justice advocates arguing that the rapper’s issues are symbolic of broader problems in the justice system.

Meek was convicted in 2007 of drug and gun possession as a teenager. Years later, the circumstances of the conviction were found to be highly suspect However, he remained on probation for the original crimes, beginning a painful, decade-plus-long journey of countless probation hearings and numerous trips to prison. To recap: Meek’s defense team requested that the case be reassigned because the original judge, Genece Brinkley, ” exhibited enormous bias” Brinkley declined, leading Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to step in, filing an appeal with the Pennsylvania Superior Court in May asking for a new trial with a new judge. Free Meek captures it all, showing the nearly absolute power the system can have over an innocent person—and how much it takes to break free of it.

Rubin said he’s spoken with Gov. Tom Wolf, who is completely committed” to probation reform. Rubin said he’s optimistic that lawmakers will send the governor legislation this year.

He took up the cause after clashing repeatedly with the trial judge who ordered 10 years of probation and sent him back to prison in 2017 for technical violations. He spent five months locked up before the Pennsylvania Superior Court granted him bail and removed her from the case.

The Philadelphia district attorney dropped all other charges and a judge decided that the 32-year-old rapper, who has already served about two years in prison, will not serve any more jail time.

But in court, none of them acted like they knew each other. Mill was offered a more lenient sentence if he apologized to officer Reginald Graham, who is black, by Judge Genece Brinkley , who is also black.

Though clearly pleased and smiling, Mill and his lawyers did not speak on the way out of the Center City courthouse. Instead, Van Jones, the CEO of REFORM Alliance, spoke for Mill and on behalf of REFORM, stating confidently that Mill’s conviction would be overturned completely within two months.

Now that Mill’s case has ended, now that his legal travails have made him more of a star than his rhymes ever had, now that he and Rubin have created a $50 million nonprofit to greatly reduce those caught up in the parole and probation system, now is when the Meek Mill story really gets interesting. Because you never know just who, owing to a mix of circumstances and internal fortitude, is going to step up.

It’s rare for a presiding judge in a case to be removed, and even retrials really don’t happen all that often. There’s a good chance that the case will be dismissed altogether and no new trial sought. Still, an overturned conviction and new trial does not necessarily mean Meek Mill is exonerated. At this point, all he is guaranteed is a fresh trial with a different judge, and perhaps witnesses who don’t have an ax to grind, none of which necessarily means he’ll be found not guilty.

The New York Post‘s Page Six reports that the FBI has had undercover agents in courtrooms monitoring Brinkley’s handling of Meek Mill’s case since April 2016. This followed claims from Meek’s attorney that Brinkley had shown bias by asking the rapper to leave Roc Nation and return to working with Charlie Mack. Mack denied any conspiracy.

Meek Mill, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, will not serve any additional prison time and will no longer be on probation, said his lawyer, Joe Tacopina, in an interview.

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