It Looks Like Meek Mill May Get a New Trial: 'We Are One Step Closer to Justice'

Rapper Meek Mill departs with his son Rihmeek “Papi” Williams after a hearing at a Pennsylvania appeals c*ourt in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 16, 2019.

Photo: Matt Rourke (AP Photo)

Meek Mill, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, has spent the last 11 years of his life hounded by a d*rug and g*un c*onviction that s*tole his freedom and served as a textbook example of our deeply flawed c*riminal justice system.

But his nightmare might soon be coming to an end, as the possibility of a new t*rial comes closer to reality.

From Variety:

On Tuesday, Mill and his l*awyers stood before three Pennsylvania Superior C*ourt j*udges in a Philadelphia c*ourtroom to ask that his 2008 c*onviction on g*un and d*rug ch*arges be tossed out and a new t*rial be set. Even before Tuesday’s hearing, la*wyers on both sides had already agreed that the most damning testimony during the initial 2008 c*onviction was based on poor evidence from, and credibility issues with, “a bad cop,” in the words of Mill’s appellate a*ttorney, Kim M. Watterson — and that such testimony be thrown out going further. The sole witness at the original t*rial was the now-retired Reginald Graham, who later was placed on the Philadelphia district a*ttorney’s office “do not call” list due to his history of misconduct.

Unlike Mill’s previous bouts with the c*riminal justice system, the 32-year-old rapper had an unlikely ally during his hearing—Philadelphia District A*ttorney Larry Krasner—who not only questioned the credibility of the aforementioned p*olice o*fficer (“He now has been discredited”) but concurred that Meek’s original 2008 j*udge, Genece Brinkley, had repeatedly exhibited bias in her decision making.

Additionally, Mill was also informed that should he be granted a new t*rial, his case would be transferred to a different j*udge.

And there was also this bit of good news, c*ourtesy of Variety:

Also in the mix at the July 16 hearing: a long-held request for fresh adjudication. Mill’s original 2008 j*udge, Genece Brinkley, sent Mill back to p*rison in 2017 after she found he’d v*iolated his p*robation with minor technical p*robation v*iolations and returned him to p*rison for 2-4 years. Brinkley had also denied Mill’s continued bids for a new t*rial, stating in c*ourt papers that she did not believe Mill’s law*yers or the D.A.’s office had sufficiently proved the evidence used to secure his original 2007 a*rrest was tainted.

Clearly relieved by these developments in his case, Mill was all smiles as he and his l*awyers left the co*urtroom on Tuesday. He declined to speak to reporters, but political commentator and Reform Alliance CEO Van Jones had plenty to say on his behalf.

“I have been in c*riminal justice for 25 years, and I have never seen a district attorney’s office be calling for a new t*rial at the same time the defendant is calling for a new tr*ial,” Jones said. “We are one step closer to justice. This hearing was an extraordinary moment where you have attorneys on both sides saying that a new t*rial should go forward.”

This wouldn’t be the first time the c*ourt sided with Mill, as state p*rosecutors didn’t dispute his 2018 release on b*ail and also argued that Brinkley had failed to remain impartial.

Mill’s legal battles are far from over, but for the first time in years, they have one defining trait: Hope.