A Pennsylvania appeals court has overturned the rapper Meek Mill’s conviction in a drug and gun case that has kept the rapper on probation for a decade and made him a celebrity crusader for criminal justice reform.
The unanimous three-judge panel said new evidence undermining the credibility of the officer who testified against the rapper at his trial made an acquittal likely were the case to be retried.
City prosecutors have backed the defense bid for a new trial and confirmed they do not trust the officer, who has since left the force and was the only prosecution witness at the 2008 nonjury trial. Still, the district attorney, Larry Krasner, said on Wednesday his office needed time to decide whether to drop the case.
The 32-year-old performer, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, is now free of the court supervision he has been under most of his adult life. Williams has said he had trouble notifying probation officers about his travels as required because of the erratic nature of the music industry. A little more than a year ago, he spent five months in prison over technical violations of his parole.
“The past 11 years have been mentally and emotionally challenging, but I’m ecstatic that justice prevailed,” Williams said in a statement. “Unfortunately, millions of people are dealing with similar issues in our country and don’t have the resources to fight back like I did. We need to continue supporting them.”
Read More (...)