Meek Mill's decades-old conviction thrown out; granted a new trial originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com
Meek Mill had been haunted by a conviction stemming from a 2008 drug and gun case for over a decade and in a unanimous decision on Wednesday, a three-judge panel overturned the rapper’s conviction, granting him a new trial.
“I’d like to thank the Pennsylvania Superior Court judges for their wisdom and transparency in reviewing my case, unanimously overturning my conviction and granting me a new trial,” the rapper said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “The past 11 years have been mentally and emotionally challenging, but I’m ecstatic that justice prevailed. This positive outcome wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my family, my attorneys, JAY-Z, Desiree Perez, Michael Rubin, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office and my supporters who have stood with me through the ups and downs.”
Citing evidence of alleged police corruption, the court’s opinions states: “We conclude the after-discovered evidence is of such a strong nature and character that a different verdict will likely result at a retrial. Williams was convicted based upon the testimony of former Officer Graham. In its brief, the Commonwealth now states ‘[i]t is axiomatic that it cannot call a witness whose credibility it mistrusts.’”
The hip-hop star, whose given name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, has become one of the most visible and outspoken advocates for criminal justice reform since his 2017 sentencing to two to four years in prison for technical violations sparked a national movement. He was released last year.
After 11 years, the rapper’s probation, has now officially been lifted. Mill -- who yesterday signed a deal for a joint venture with Jay-Z's Roc Nation -- excitedly shared the update with fans on Twitter Wednesday.
He wrote, "I’m not on probation right now...new label deal with JAY-Z!!! Today was lit already."
He later added, "Life blessings just keep coming."
I’m not on probation right now...new label deal with jayz!!! Today was lit already 🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️ “wtf GOD” you be acting a fool 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) July 24, 2019
The decision comes following a hearing last Tuesday — the first hearing that took place without Judge Genece Brinkley, who had overseen the rapper’s case for years and has been accused of being biased in her rulings. The Philadelphia district attorney filed documents with the Pennsylvania Superior Court in May, calling for a new judge and a new trial for Meek’s case.
In documents obtained by ABC News, District Attorney Larry Krasner accused Judge Genece Brinkley of actions that created "the appearance of partiality” in Mill's case, and alleged that her court “abused its discretion” in sentencing Mill in November 2017.
Although his case could be retried, the court concluded in the Wednesday opinion that “after-discovered evidence is of such a strong nature and character that a different verdict will likely result at a retrial.”
The rapper, who launched REFORM Alliance, a criminal justice reform organization, in January vowed to continue fighting for others.