The Pennsylvania Supreme Court placed a ruling the 24 of April, 2018. The court stated that Meek Mill should be released on bail. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office said he was convicted on gun and drug charges. A final ruling on whether to throw out his conviction is due to take place in 60 days.
On November 6 2017, Meek Mill was sentenced to 2-4 years in state prison for violating his probation. The Philadelphia born rapper had been on probation for close to a decade after being found guilty on gun and drug charges. Days after his sentence commenced, #FreeMeek has always been a rallying cry, online and off.
In November 2017, Julius Erving and Rick Ross protested that Meek Mill’s ruling should be overturned. Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick posted on twitter that Meek’s case is a typical example for the urgent push for criminal justice reform.
10 years ago, Judge Genece Brinkley has been overseeing Meek’s case. The decision to place a ruling for probation violations brought up against Meek was hers alone. Several Philadelphia-based lawyers said that Meek’s ruling did seem excessive.
However, people said no defense attorney would be surprised to see a judge “go easy on” Meek Mill for violating his probation terms five times in six years. But it’s insane to think a high-profile rapper often on tour for such a long period under a court’s scrutiny, to not slip up somehow.
Meek was first arrested in 2007 when he was 19 years old (He was known as Robert Williams). A year and a half later, Brinkley found him guilty of seven related guns and drugs charges. She then made a ruling sentencing him to 11-and-a-half to 23 months in county prison, plus seven years of probation. Meek was released from county jail less than six months later, and placed on house arrest. He later ordered to earn his GED and undergo drug treatment.
In December 2009, Brinkley ended his house arrest and placed him on probation. Two years later, Meek Mill tested positive for marijuana and unspecified opiate use more than once.
Judge Brinkley suspended his permission to travel outside of Philadelphia County. she also prevented him from scheduling travel for about four months. Two months into this ruling, Brinkley received reports which found Meek in violation for leaving the county again. Before long, Meek landed a third probation violation, again for leaving the county.
In July 2014, Brinkley sentenced him to three to six months in county jail, plus five years of probation. He served for almost five months in Hoffman Hall prison. He was ordered to take classes for anger management, parenting and undergo drug/alcohol counseling while he was in prison.
The following year, the judge approved Meek’s request to travel as far as Dubai, but she later annulled earlier permission to visit Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.
On December 10, 2015, Meek received his fourth probation violation for not reporting to his probation officer, because he had traveled out of Philadelphia without permission, also submitting a sample of water instead of urine for a drug test. The judge ruled Meek to six to 12 months of house arrest plus six years of probation.
Brinkley ordered Meek to perform 90 days community service. She also stripped all his rights to either work or travel while on house arrest. But Meek appealed.
On September 8, 2017, Brinkley found Meek Mill guilty for the fifth time in violation of his probation. She quoted a failed drug test, violating court-ordered travel restrictions, and two convict-able arrest. One for reckless driving in Manhattan and the other for an alleged dispute carried out of anger at the St. Louis airport.
This sentence went against the recommendations of both the prosecutor and the probation officer in the case. But on November 8, Meek filed in at Camp Hill state prison.
Meek’s conviction again reflects the American criminal justice system’s long history of putting people, particularly men of color, on a kind of “perpetual probation,” said civil rights attorney Thomas O. Fitzpatrick. “Is it fair to Meek Mill?” Fitzpatrick mused of the sentence. “Eh, he knew what it was. This isn’t a surprise to Meek Mill. Is it fair in terms of: Should we look at this as an indictment of our system? Absolutely, we should. And we should reconsider how we do things.”
Bipartisan criminal-justice reform legislation is currently winding its way through Congress. Unfortunately for Meek, and the millions of others stuck in the system, it doesn’t overhaul probation.