A Philadelphia judge on Monday denied rapper Meek Mill’s request for a new trial in his 2008 drug and gun conviction. He had petitioned for a new trial based on alleged credibility issues surrounding his arresting officer.
Judge Genece Brinkley said in the opinion that Mill failed to meet his burden of proof in a case where, according to CNN, even the District Attorney’s office recommended that his case be reviewed.
In the petition, Mill’s lawyer argued that officer Reginald Graham, who testified against Mill in the 2008 case, was on a secret list kept by the District Attorney’s office identifying officers deemed untrustworthy.
In May, Mill’s request to have Judge Brinkley removed from the case, on grounds that she had a “vendetta” against him, was also denied, Fox News reported.
The 31-year-old rapper’s case dates back to 2008, when he was convicted on drug and firearm charges. He was sentenced to two years in county prison and eight years probation. Last year, he was arrested twice, once after an altercation at an airport in Missouri, and once for allegedly popping a wheelie on a motorcycle in New York, NBC reports. Judge Brinkley cited these accounts, as well as a failed drug test and defiance of a travel restriction as the reasons behind her decision to sentence Mills to two-to-four years.
His sentencing had sparked debates among criminal justice activists, according to CNN, with many comparing such a harsh sentencing to the extremely lenient sentencing of Brock Turner, a former Stanford student who was caught raping a young woman behind a dumpster in 2015 and, despite being found guilty, was only sentenced to six months in prison, sparking outrage across the country. Turner, who was 19 when he committed the crime, was released after three months.
Mills was released in April, after five months, under orders from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, following a DA's office recommendtion for a new trial.
In a statement to CNN, Mill’s lawyer Joe Tacopina said they were not at all surprised with Judge Brinkley’s ruling. “Judge Brinkley made clear ... she had already decided the matter," Tacopina said.
[Photo: Meek Mill at a performance in Los Angeles, California, in June 2018. By Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images]