Rapper Meek Mill will get a new judge and trial for his 2008 drug and gun conviction, a Philadelphia appeals court ruled on Wednesday.
Three judges unanimously granted the retrial based on new evidence of alleged police corruption, according to the Associated Press.
The court also overturned the trial judge’s parole violation findings that sent the entertainer back to prison in 2017 for five months.
Meek Mill, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, seemed happy with the ruling based on a tweet he posted:
City judge Genece Brinkley kept Mill on probation for 10 years and later sent him to prison in 2017 over a minor parole violation. Defense lawyers told the court they believed she has lost her impartiality and become too involved in their client’s life, according to Philadelphia Fox outlet WTXF.
Newsweek previously reported that Joe Tacopina, Mill’s lawyer, claimed the judge was “infatuated” with the rap artist. “She’s enamored with him,” Tacopina said, adding that Brinkley once asked Mill to give her a shoutout in a song.
In addition, the only prosecution witness at the nonjury trial was a drug squad officer who is now on the District Attorney’s do-not-call list of police officers that have credibility concerns, according to Mill’s lawyer, Kim Watterson.
“They (prosecutors) do not have confidence in his testimony and will not call him at retrial,” Watterson told the court.
Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison in November 2017 for parole violations that stemmed from two arrests earlier in the year: one for a fight and the other for popping wheelies on a dirt bike.
Based on the charges, the judge found Mill in violation of probation from a 2008 gun and drug case and denied him bail.
He was released from jail five months later.
Mill’s case became a celebrated cause for many celebrities, including rapper Jay-Z, who argued in a New York Times op-ed that “what’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day … A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew.”
Although it is possible Mill’s case will be retried, it’s also possible prosecutors may choose to drop the case, according to the AP.
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