Philadelphia (AP) — Rapper Meek Mill walked out of prison Wednesday after Pennsylvania’s highest courtroom purchased him freed while he appeals decade-old weapon and medicine convictions.
Following a five-month advertising campaign by his followers to get him out, their state Supreme Court directed a Philadelphia judge who acquired jailed him to immediately issue an order launching him on unprotected bail.
Mill was sentenced in November to two to four years in jail for probation violations.
He was taken from the prison by helicopter to Philadelphia, where he rang the ceremonial bell in the beginning of Game 5 of the Philadelphia 76ers-Miami High temperature playoff series.
“Welcome home Meek Mill,” said the game announcer to the rapper, who was simply sitting courtside next to professional Kevin Hart and Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin.
Before the game, Mill frequented privately with the Sixers in their locker room.
A team of lawyers and public relations consultants had waged an all-out challenge to get him freed, leveling fierce criticism at the judge as a blast of high-powered information and celebrities went to him in jail outside Philadelphia just hours before the Supreme Court ruling.
Mill given a statement stating the past weeks had been “a headache,” and thanked his many supporters and tourists, who included Rubin, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
“Although I’m blessed to really have the resources to battle this unjust situation, I understand that many folks of color in the united states don’t possess that luxury and I intend to use my platform to stand out a light on those issues,” Mill said.
He said he’d now target his attention on getting his convictions overturned, and that he looks frontward to resuming his music job.
Earlier this month, in a significant win for Mill, prosecutors said they decided with his legal representatives that he should get a fresh trial because of questions elevated about the arresting official. The now-retired official was among a set of cops the prosecutor’s office has looked for to keep off of the witness stand in cases across the town because of credibility questions.
A spokesman for Area Law firm Larry Krasner said late Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s decision on Meek Mill’s release was steady with the positioning taken by their office.
Mill’s law firm, Joe Tacopina, thanked the high court docket.
“Meek was unjustly convicted and should not have spent a single day in prison,” Tacopina said.
In an opinion earlier this month, Judge Genece Brinkley, who delivered Mill to jail for the probation violations, strongly defended herself against accusations by the security she was waging a vendetta contrary to the rapper. She said the courtroom “has impartially and without prejudice presided over numerous proceedings in this subject since 2008.”
The Supreme Court denied a protection request to move the case to another judge, but said the presiding judge could choose to remove herself.