Meek Mill Conviction Overturned after 11 Years, New Trial Granted
Meek Mill has been granted a retrial. Judges unanimously decided to overturn his 2009 conviction after the key witness who testified against the rapper had been discredited.
In his efforts lobbying for criminal justice reform, Meek Mill appears to have benefitted from it. A Pennsylvania appeals court has overturned his conviction after 11 years.
FREEDOM AT HIS FINGERTIPS
Fans and celebrities behind the rapper can now rejoice knowing that previous charges against him in relation to drugs and weapons possession may be thrown out for good. Three judges unanimously voted to overturn Mill’s case after learning the key witness in his 2008 trial had a credibility issue.
According to reports, the police officer, Reginald Graham who wrote the search warrant in the rapper’s case and testified against him may have lied about his testimony.
Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, had been serving time on probation after he was sentenced in 2009 to between 11 and 23 months in county prison. After five months, he was released on parole and placed under 10-year-probation.
WHEN JUSTICE SLIPPED THROUGH HIS FINGERS
While serving time outside bars, he forged on with his career as an artist under Rick Ross’ label. In 2017, he was arrested for a minor driving violation. He recklessly drove a dirt bike while filming a music video. Though charges were dropped, a judge deemed his arrest a violation of his probation and sentenced him to jail for four years. He was released on bail after five months but the fact that he went to jail urged celebrities to campaign for his freedom, among them, Jay-Z and Beyonce.
Through his group, Reform Alliance, Mill worked to ensure minorities are properly represented and fairly treated in the criminal justice system. His efforts proved fruitful since he’s now getting a fair chance at freedom.
In a statement after his case was overturned, Mill revealed it was a “mentally and emotionally challenging” 11 years but says he’s “ecstatic that justice prevailed.”
According to reports, the police officer, Reginald Graham who wrote the search warrant in the rapper’s case and testified against him may have lied about his testimony. He told the court then that Mill brandished a gun on him during his 2007 arrest, which then 19-year-old Mill denied.
A few years ago, Graham was found guilty of stealing money from the Philadelphia Police and lying about it. This resulted in his termination from the force. Moreover, a colleague of his revealed that Graham had lied about his testimony against Mill too.
THE FUTURE IS NOW BRIGHTER
In light of Graham’s questionable credibility, prosecutors supported the defense’s request for a retrial. District attorney Larry Krasner is currently considering dropping the case.
In a statement after his case was overturned, Mill revealed it was a “mentally and emotionally challenging” 11 years but says he’s “ecstatic that justice prevailed.” He goes on to say that he hopes others will also “have the resources to fight back like I did” adding, “We need to continue supporting them.”
THE STRUGGLES OF A LIFE ON PROBATION
Mill admitted in an exclusive interview with Gayle King that it was difficult living with the limitations of his probation, even for little tasks like picking his son up from school which would need permission.
"I would just want to pop up at my son's school and get him from school. I'd been out of town for two weeks in a row workin'. Can't really do it," he says.
“If it's out of the city, if you don't ask for permission, you could get the rest of your probation time given to you as jail time legally,” he explains.
A BRUSH WITH RACISM
Mill recently made headlines after he was denied entry at a Las Vegas club. The rapper accused the club of racism saying he was threatened with arrest for trespassing without a clear reason. The club maintained he was denied entry due to overcapacity of guests. There was also an insinuation that Mill fought with the hotel’s security which he denied. He reportedly intended to file a lawsuit against the hotel.