A Philadelphia judge denied rapper Meek Mill’s petition for a new trial in his drug and gun convictions, despite the district attorney’s office recommending that he get one.
In the petition, Mill’s attorneys said there were credibility issues with a police officer who testified in the case a decade ago. The officer, Reginald Graham, was on a “secret list” kept by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office that named police officers with poor or untrustworthy reputations.
However, Judge Genece Brinkley said in an opinion Monday that Mill didn’t meet his burden of proof in questioning the officer’s credibility.
Mill received a two-to-four year prison sentence in November for violating probation on a 2008 gun and drug case. (More on that here).
The case sparked outrage from criminal justice reform activists, who pointed to the sentence as an example of the need for justice reform.
For instance, people wondered aloud why Mill, who hadn’t been convicted of a serious crime since 2008, was handed such a lengthy sentence for a probation violation when someone like Brock Turner, a Stanford University swimmer, served three months in jail after he was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.
In April, the Philadelphia DA’s office recommended a new trial for Mill, and the Philadelphia Supreme Court ordered Meek’s release.
His lawyers petitioned for a new trial, which Judge Brinkley turned down. She is the same judge who handed down the initial sentence.
“We are not at all surprised by Judge Brinkley’s decision today,” Mill’s lawyer Joe Tacopina told CNN in a statement.
“Despite the agreement of the District Attorney’s office on the need for a new trial, and the granting of new trials to other identically situated defendants, Judge Brinkley made clear … she had already decided the matter.”
Mills was convicted on gun and drug charges in 2008 after he was arrested for illegally carrying a gun while walking to a corner store. He was released early with five years’ parole, during which he was convicted of several parole violations.
In 2014, he went back to prison for parole violation. A judge reinstated his probation after five months.
Mills was arrested again in 2017 for his involvement in a fight at a St. Louis airport. He was then arrested again in late 2017 for reckless endangerment. He was popping wheelies on his dirt bike without a helmet.