In a rare move, the Philadelphia District Attorney has called for rapper Meek Mill to get a new trial and has asked the judge to recuse herself.
According to Philly DA Larry Krasner, Mill’s judge, Genece Brinkley, is biased and should not oversee the hip-hop artist’s case.
“Doesn’t mean I win … but that is great news!!!!” the rapper tweeted.
In documents obtained by ABC News, Krasner accused Judge Brinkley of actions that caused “the appearance of partiality” in Mill’s case, and he also alleged that her court “abused its discretion” in sentencing Mill, whose given name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, in 2017.
“Williams should be awarded a post-conviction relief in the form of a new trial,” the appeal said. “In the alternative, his recusal motion should be granted and this matter should be remanded for a violation of probation hearing before a new judge.”
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“We are very pleased that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office has confirmed to the Superior Court that Meek is entitled to have his conviction vacated,” Mill’s attorney, Jordan Siev, told ABC News. “The brief is also significant in that it marks the first time the DA has publicly outlined in writing that it supports Judge Brinkley’s recusal based on her ‘appearance of partiality’ and ‘public perception of unfairness and bias.’”
In November 2017, Mill was sentenced by Brinkley to two to four years in prison following two arrests that violated his probation from a 2007 gun and drug case. Neither arrest resulted in a conviction.
“Mill was originally sentenced to 11 to 23 months following his conviction on the 2007 gun and drug offenses. Last year, Brinkley found him in violation of his 10-year probation and immediately sentenced him to 2 to 4 years in prison. He served five months before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered him freed while his appeal of Brinkley’s sentence was pending,” NBC Philadelphia reported.
“The hefty sentence for technical violations sparked outrage among criminal justice reform advocates and reinvigorated a national debate on mass incarceration. Amid a viral #FreeMeekMill movement on social media and elsewhere, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Mill’s immediate release on ‘unsecured bail in April 2018, citing “credibility issues with a police officer who was a ‘critical witness’ in the case,” ABC News reported.
Since Brinkley has overseen the rapper’s case, she’s been embroiled in controversy.
“Among other things, the document filed by the DA references an incident in which Brinkley took it upon herself to personally ‘check up’ on Mill by making a ‘surprise visit’ to a homeless shelter in 2017 where he was performing court-ordered community service. Brinkley ‘personally assumed the role of investigator,’ the document states, but ‘no evidence suggests’ that the judge regularly made this type of unannounced personal visit to monitor her other probationers,” ABC News reported.
According to the DA’s filing, Brinkley “inappropriately” played “the role of both decision maker and fact witness.”
During this ordeal, Mill has become a proponent for criminal justice reform.
Mill partnered with people in music, sports, and business, including Jay-Z, to launch the REFORM Alliance in January — a criminal justice organization chaired by himself and businessman Michael Rubin, who is a minority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers’.
“This is my situation being on probation for 11 years and going back to prison three to four times without committing crimes for eleven years,” Mill told “Good Morning America” co-host Michael Strahan in January. “This last time a lot of people stood up for me and came out and spoke out for me, so I thought when I got out of my situation, I’d use my platform to help some people…who don’t really have a voice.”