Meek Mill may go back to prison after request for new trial fails to impress judge
Mill's lawyers felt the rapper deserved a retrial for the case pertaining to his decade-old gun and drug convictions
Meek Mill's troubles with the law are well-documented, with an entire 'Free Meek Mill' movement dedicated to raising awareness about his current situation. The emergence of evidence that testimony at the original trial had been less-than-acceptable as well as other discrepancies meant that Mill's lawyers felt the rapper deserved a retrial for the case pertaining to his decade-old gun and drug convictions.
A motion for the same had been filed, though it looks like Mill might have to wait a little bit longer to find out his fate. Judge Genece Brinkley, who first handled Mill's case in 2008 and later continued to preside over the rest of his legal cases since, said this past Monday that she would rule in 'due time' whether Mill deserved a new trial but only after an evidentiary hearing.
The ruling has sparked fear that Mill may be denied his motion, despite the defense presenting considerable evidence that his case warranted a new trial. They pointed out credibility issues with former Philadelphia police officer Reginald Graham, who was involved in the rapper's arrest in 2007 and also later testified at the trial.
The notion was even supported by the Philadelphia District Attorney's office that had stated before Monday's hearing that the "Commonwealth does not have any confidence in the credibility of Reginald Graham's testimony in the case." They also revealed that they were in possession of information about Graham's misconduct as far back as 2014 but that they only disclosed it to Mill's attorneys last year.
Furthermore, there was an acceptance that another officer who was a part of Mill's arrest a decade ago had given credible testimony that directly contradicted Graham's.
However, despite both sides seemingly in agreement with the need for a new trial, Brinkley scheduled an evidence hearing and claimed she needed more time to review evidence that Graham had credibility issues in the case before she could give the go-ahead.
What makes the decision even more puzzling is the fact that there is a precedent for doing so which is quite recent. A different Philadelphia judge has, in the past, agreed to overturn convictions in at least three cases where Graham had given testimony, that too, without evidentiary hearings. It is to be noted, however, that the DA's office decided not to retry those cases.
Mill's attorneys are reportedly exasperated with Brinkley because of her behavior. After their two-hour hearing on Monday, they complained that she laughed at testimony from an expert witness and that her language and demeanor indicated that she had already decided she would not be okaying a new trial.
Aware that she might prove to be an obstacle in the case, they had filed a motion with the state's Supreme Court to have her removed from the case. Unfortunately, it had split the bench exactly two ways, with three agreeing to grant the request and the other three stating they hadn't heard enough.
Mill's case has garnered the support of millions across the country as well as the likes of public figures such as Jay-Z and Kevin Hart, with the rapper stating that he would like to use his situation to 'shine a light' on the country's criminal justice system.