Meek Mill Released From Prison on Bail


Meek Mill has been released from prison following an order from the Philadelphia Supreme Court.

The rapper, whose legal name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, served an up-to-four year sentence for violating probation stemming from a 2008 conviction on drug and gun counts. He has been in jail since last November.

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The decision was a sudden stroke of luck for Meek’s team. Last week, Judge Genece E. Brinkley denied Williams’ bail and scheduled his subsequent hearing two months later to rule on the rapper’s conviction. On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Supreme Court overruled, Judge Brinkley, Williams’ lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said to WPVI-TV:

“She “may opt to remove herself from presiding over any further proceedings in Meek’s case in the interests of justice,”

Meek Mill’s defense team had been urging Judge Brinkley to recuse herself for months, particularly after March, when the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office filed a motion that stated they would not oppose Meek’s release from prison on bail, which Judge Brinkley did not acknowledge. Tacopina said:

“Meek was unjustly convicted and should not have spent a single day in jail. Meek is excited to be reunited with his family, and we, along with Meek, intend to continue to shine the light on a justice system in need of reform to prevent any other citizen from being put through what Meek has endured.”

Meek Mill issued a grateful statement following his release, thanking his fans, family, legal team and Jay-Z, among others. He wrote:

“While the past five months have been a nightmare, the prayers, visits, calls, letters and rallies have helped me stay positive. To the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, I’m grateful for your commitment to justice – not only for my case, but for others that have been wrongfully jailed due to police misconduct. Although I’m blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury … I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues … I plan to work closely with my legal team to overturn this unwarranted conviction and look forward to reuniting with my family and resuming my music career.”

The rapper’s prison sentence sparked an important conversation about wrongful convictions, race and sentencing, alleged police misconduct and other ethical issues within the judiciary system.

I’d like to thank God, my family, my friends, my attorneys, my team at Roc Nation including Jay Z, Desiree Perez, my good friend Michael Rubin, my fans, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court and all my public advocates for their love, support and encouragement during this difficult time. While the past five months have been a nightmare, the prayers, visits, calls, letters and rallies have helped me stay positive. To the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, I’m grateful for your commitment to justice – not only for my case, but for others that have been wrongfully jailed due to police misconduct. Although I’m blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues. In the meantime, I plan to work closely with my legal team to overturn this unwarranted conviction and look forward to reuniting with my family and resuming my music career.

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The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office acknowledged that circumstances surrounding the original conviction might lead to it being reversed. In the motion, the D.A. cited that the arresting officer Reginald V. Graham gave false testimony. Graham was the only government witness during Williams’ trial and was part of the search warrant that produced the alleged evidence against the rapper. The officer’s name was also listed among police whom the D.A.’s office had identified as untrustworthy to testify.