Meek Mill’s Appeal to Remove Judge From His Case Moved to Superior Court of Pennsylvania
UPDATE: Meek Mill scores a big legal victory.
On Weds., May 22, reps for the Philly artist reported that the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office asserted that Meek deserves a new trial after they determined that Genece Brinkley, who is the judge presiding over his 2017 probation violation case, was biased against the rapper.
In a statement, Meek's lawyer, Jordan Siev, said: “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. 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."
This past June, Meek Mill and his legal team filed a motion to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to have Judge Genece Brinkley, who has been the subject of an FBI investigation, removed from his probation violation court case. On Tuesday (Aug. 21), the court denied the rapper's request. For the time being, Brinkley will continue presiding over his case, but Meek isn't giving up without a fight.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has instructed Meek's legal team to start the appeals process with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania if they want a different outcome.
"AND NOW, this 21st day of August, 2018, the Application for King’s Bench
Jurisdiction is DENIED, WITHOUT PREJUDICE to Petitioner to pursue his claims before
the Superior Court in the normal course," reads the court doc denying Meek's request. "Justice Dougherty did not participate in the consideration or decision of this matter."
Meek's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, has promised to fight hard to remove Judge Brinkley from the case, citing her perceived pattern of troubling behavior as a reason for his effort.
"Time after time, Judge Brinkley has continued to display unethical behavior as she has presided over Meek’s case," Tacopina explains in a statement. "We will work diligently to rectify this grave miscarriage of justice and ensure that Meek’s wrongful conviction is overturned and he is granted the new and fair trial that he deserves."
Meek's connection to Judge Brinkley goes all the way back to when he caught gun charges in 2008. Following his release from jail after accepting a five-year parole deal in 2009, Meek would have intermittent brushes with the law, including a few 2017 arrests that ultimately led the controversial judge to sentence him to two to four years in state prison last fall.
As many people noted, the assault case preceding his latest sentence had been dropped, and he'd already taken a deal for his reckless driving case in New York City. Still, Judge Brinkley handed the rapper a two-to-four-year sentence, and many people immediately criticized her decision, deeming it too harsh.
In the months that followed, Meek's legal team alleged that Brinkley had acted inappropriately throughout her time handling Meek's case. Brinkley's ability to “properly perform” her duties also came into question. In that same period of time, Reginald Graham, who acted as the “Stay Woke” rapper’s arresting officer in 2007, was placed on the Philadelphia District Attorney's "do not call" list over allegations of corruption.
All of the above events preceded the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granting Meek bail and allowed him to be released from jail this past April.
Though, the process seems lengthy with no concrete decision being made anytime soon, the 31-year-old seems hopeful.
“I’m grateful that my legal team will have the opportunity to present a thorough appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and make sure my case will be heard in a fair and balanced manner," Meek says in a statement.
He continues, "Unfortunately, thousands of people entrapped in the criminal justice system aren’t as fortunate to have that chance. Although this has been a difficult situation, I will continue to trust the process and I’m confident that justice will prevail.”
There's no telling how all of this well end, but here's to hoping justice is served.
See Photos of Meek Mill's Different Looks Over the Years