The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania answered the prayers of Meek Mill and his supporters when it granted the Philadelphia rapper’s bail request yesterday (April 24). The court’s ruling allowed Mill to leave State Correctional Institution Chester after nearly six months of incarceration.
Public calls for Mill’s release grew after Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley sentenced him to two to four years in state prison last November. Brinkley grounded the ruling in various probation violations for 2008 gun and drug charges, and later denied Mill’s bail requests. The state Supreme Court’s ruling mandates that Brinkley’s court “immediately issue an order releasing [Mill] on unsecured bail.”
NBC Philadelphia reports that Mill was driven out of the correctional institution to a nearby parking lot yesterday evening. There, he joined supporter and Philadelphia 76ers basketball team co-owner Michael Rubin in a helicopter, which quickly departed.
Mill later appeared in his hometown at the Wells Fargo Arena, where the 76ers faced the Miami Heat in an NBA playoff game. He received cheers from the audience as he rang a ceremonial bell alongside Philadelphia-bred comedian Kevin Hart:
NBA (@NBA) April 25, 2018
Mill commented on his release in a series of tweets. He thanked Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner for supporting his release, promised to support anti-racist criminal justice advocacy and confirmed his plans to overturn his previous conviction:
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 (@MeekMill) April 24, 2018
To the Philly District Attorney’s office, I’m grateful for your commitment to justice. I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues.— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) April 24, 2018
In the meantime, 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.— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) April 24, 2018
Philly.com reports that Mill risks additional incarceration if he does not attend future court hearings about his case. He now fights to overturn his gun and drug convictions after Krasner’s office agreed with his call for a new trial. Krasner strengthened Mill’s case for exoneration after he officially deemed former Philadelphia Police Department detective Reggie Graham, whose testimony informed the 2008 charges, an unreliable source.