Over ten years ago, the rapper Meek Mill was charged with a drug and gun case. Since then, Meek Mill’s time in the legal system has been a journey that highlights much of what’s wrong with the system.
Now Meek Mill’s journey has come to an end. Following a successful appeal and order for a new appeal and judge, he plead guilty to close the case.
Meek Mill was found guilty after a bench trial twelve years ago. The sole witness against him was one police officer. After conviction he was sentenced to one year in county jail, though he was released after about five months.
Then, Meek Mill was put on probation and everything hit the fan. The probation terms were restrictive. He was required to report to the court every 60 days to get his travel schedule approved. Mill and the judge repeatedly clashed, as the judge seemed to take a particular interest in overseeing his probation.
Finally, on what was deemed his fourth probation violation, the judge sentenced him to two to four years in prison.
After being put in prison Mill appealed his trial conviction. It turned out that a corruption probe into Philadelphia police officers revealed the officer in his trial was part of a pattern of perjury and bias. Another officer came forward to to state the officer in Mill’s trial lied about what happened in the case. As the officer’s testimony was the only evidence in the trial, the convicted was suspect. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released Mills from prison after about five months.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court in its ruling wrote, “We conclude the after-discovered evidence is of such a strong nature and character that a different verdict will likely result at a retrial.”
The Court granted Mills a new trial. The Court went one step further with the extraordinary order to give Mills a new judge. The order for a new judge is sort of a nod that the last judge could not be unbiased.
The End of the Road
The District Attorney involved acknowledged the injustice that took place with the lying officer and Mill’s situation. There was no push back against the relief Mill’s requested on appeal. In a statement, the DA said, “was unfairly treated in a case that exemplifies the destruction caused by excessive supervision, instances of corruption, and unfair processes in our criminal courts.”
Mill’s guilty plea now ends the legal saga. No more probation and case closed. While the case was ongoing, Mill became an advocate for justice system reform, particularly the probation to prison cycle. Many celebrities offered public support for him.
Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Attorney in Ann Arbor.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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