Philadelphia’s newly elected district attorney, Larry Krasner, is really about that criminal-justice reform life, it would seem. His office said in open court on Monday that Meek Mill should get a new trial for his gun- and drug-charge conviction. That puts Meek one step closer to getting the freedom he has been seeking since being sentenced in November.
At a status hearing for the rapper, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, Assistant District Attorney Liam Riley said that Meek’s decade-old conviction should be vacated because his original arrest was questionably secured and the credibility of the arresting officer is in question, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Of course, all of this is just talk right now, but that admission in open court makes it possible for prosecutors to decline to prosecute Meek a second time, and that would free him as well.
The rub is that Common Pleas Judge Genece E. Brinkley, who sentenced Meek in November, would have to agree to vacate his conviction. She did not do that on Monday. In addition to refusing to hear his lawyers’ arguments for Meek to be let out on bail, she scheduled another hearing for June.
Meek’s attorneys aren’t giving up, however.
Brian McMonagle, one of the attorneys, told the Inquirer that his team would be filing motions to higher courts on Monday to secure Meek’s release “immediately.”
McMonagle also said that his team was “elated” by the DA’s decision and that it would be a “reprehensible crime” if Brinkley did not sign off on vacating the conviction.
Joe Tacopina—another lawyer representing Meek—told the Inquirer, “Now the fact that he’s in jail is even more egregious.”
Brinkley sentenced Meek to two to four years in prison for probation violations. She told the rapper, “I gave you break after break, and you basically just thumbed your nose at this court.”
Her sentence went against the recommendations of city prosecutors and Meek’s probation officer.
At least for now, Meek’s fate remains in her hands.