Following the high profile #FreeMeekMill campaign, the Philadelphia rapper is free
Meek Mill has been released from prison, five months after being sentenced for breaking the terms of his probation and following a huge campaign for his release. The 30-year-old rapper was due to serve between two and four years in prison but was granted bail due to “credibility” concerns of a witness, according to BBC News.
“While the past five months have been a nightmare, the prayers, visits, calls, letters and rallies have helped me stay positive,” Meek Mill said in a statement. Hours after being released, he attended a basketball game in Philadelphia, his home city.
Meek Mill, real name Robert Williams, was arrested in August last year for reckless driving. The charges were dropped, and prosecutors did not recommend jail time for the rapper. However, Judge Genece Brinkley still sentenced Meek Mill to prison, arguing that the arrest itself justified jail time.
The situation only served to highlight the absurdity of America’s probation system, as Meek Mill has been on probation for a decade now owing to a drug and gun charge from 2008. His lawyers argued that Mill was being punished unfairly, and was today a role model for others who want to escape a criminal life. The #FreeMeekMill campaign started shortly after and had support from stars like Jay-Z and Beyoncé.
Furthermore, Meek Mill’s lawyers argued that Judge Brinkley had crossed “all conceivable lines” in sentencing the rapper, alleging that she’d asked him to leave his label, amongst other things.
Now that he has been released, a court has 60 days to decide whether Meek Mill will face a new trial. Prosecutors could also completely drop the charges if they chose.