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After a 12-year court battle, Meek Mill is finally free as prosecutors drop most charges

August 29, 2019 at 08:00 am | Entertainment

Michael Eli Dokosi

Michael Eli Dokosi | Staff Writer

August 29, 2019 at 08:00 am | Entertainment

Meek Mill addresses the crowd after the charges got dropped. Photo credit fox5dc.com

Meek Mill’s legal woes are over as the U.S. rapper, on Tuesday, reached a deal in which he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanour gun charge but got all other charges against him dropped.

The South Philadelphia native pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm paving the way for prosecutors to drop the other six charges stemming from his 2007 arrest, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

After being convicted of the same charges back in 2008, Meek was sentenced to five months behind bars and years of probation, the latter of which became the focal point of his social justice platform.

Meek was sentenced to two-to-four years in prison for a probation violation related to his 2008 conviction back in November 2017.

Speaking to the court after the hearing, Meek submitted:

“I’m very thankful from the bottom of my heart everybody that ever mentioned my name or said free meek or helped me get to this position,” adding “Meek freed, I’m not on probation no more. Thank you, I appreciate that a lot. And I just wanted to come up here myself and thank all the supporters because I know y’all probably got family members in jail or people going through the same thing as me and I will continue to do what I do with the reform movement and help the people who helped me.”

This news comes one month after the Pennsylvania Superior Court threw out the rapper’s 2008 gun and drugs conviction and Meek announced that he was off probation.

The court agreed with Meek’s assertion that his case had been adversely affected by the involvement of Officer Reginald Graham, a policeman who was accused of corruption.

After Meek was granted a new trial, it was up to prosecutors to decide whether they would pursue more punishment for the rapper. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has since decided not to pursue the case any longer.

In the last ten years, the BBC notes that Meek Mill has become a platinum-selling artist while on probation.

A parole violation for suspected cannabis use resulted in a ban on touring, and then after failing to get his travel plans approved by the court, he went to prison for five months in 2014.

The rapper was arrested again in August 2017 for reckless driving as he rode a dirt bike while filming a music video.

Although the charges were later dropped, a judge ruled that the arrest itself was a breach of his probation and he was jailed that November for up to four years.

He served another five months in jail before being released in April 2018 – and has since become a campaigner for criminal justice reform.

32-year-old Mill, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, set up the Reform Alliance with Jay-Z and two American sports team owners.

The group’s “mission” is to “dramatically reduce the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system, starting with probation and parole”.

More than six million people can currently count themselves as part of the “correctional population” of the USA – which includes people in prisons and local jails, but this is mostly made up of the more than four million people on probation or parole, according to Bureau of Justice statistics cited by the BBC.

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