April 24 (UPI) — The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania overruled Judge Genece Brinkley on Tuesday, paving the way for rapper Meek Mill’s release from prison.
“Meek was unjustly convicted and should not have spent a single day in jail. Meek is excited to be reunited with his family, and we, along with Meek, intend to continue to shine the light on a justice system in need of reform to prevent any other citizen from being put through what Meek has endured,” Mill’s attorney Joe Tacopina told TMZ.
The 30-year-old, Philadelphia-born rapper, birth name Robert Williams, was sentenced in November to two to four years in state prison for violating his probation for a 2008 gun-related charge when he was 18 years old.
Mill was accused of violating his probation by getting into an altercation at a St. Louis airport with a photo-seeking airport employee and then for driving recklessly in New York City. Although the charges in both cases were dropped, the arrests alone were enough to qualify as probation violations and Brinkley ordered the rapper to spend time behind bars.
“I gave you break after break, and you basically just thumbed your nose at this court,” Brinkley told Mill last year.
“I’d like to thank God, my family, and all my public advocates for their love, support and encouragement during this difficult time. While the past five months have been a nightmare, the prayers, visits, calls, letters and rallies have helped me stay positive,” Meek Mill tweeted.
“I plan to work closely with my legal team to overturn this unwarranted conviction and look forward to reuniting with my family and resuming my music career,” he added.
Tacopina condemned Brinkley’s sentence as overly harsh. He noted the prosecutor in the case and Mill’s probation officer recommended no jail time as the two violations were for arrests dealing with minor incidents and those charges were dropped.
But instead of following the recommendations of the prosecutor and probation officer, Brinkley “excoriated both of them, challenged their credibility and overrode both law enforcement agencies recommendations and went from zero to two to four years, which shows that she clearly had a personal vendetta against [Mill],” Tacopina told Billboard in November.
Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin picked up Meek Mill from jail. The rapper was expected to attend Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat before a scheduled news conference.