Attorneys: Jailing of rapper is unconstitutional

Meek Mill leaves court in early May.
Meek Mill leaves court in early May. (DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Posted: July 18, 2014

THE THREE-TO-SIX- month jail sentence given to Philadelphia-born rapper Meek Mill for probation violations is "unconstitutional under both state and federal law," his new legal team said in a court filing yesterday.

In the petition filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, attorneys Dennis Cogan and Christopher Warren asked for a hearing within three days to argue the matter.

The rapper, 27, born Robert Williams, has missed a concert and postponed a second since being jailed last Friday.

His attorneys alleged that the infractions cited by Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley last week did not rise to the level of revocation of Mill's probation. They also alleged that the judge failed to hold two legally required hearings before ruling, and did not provide the required written notice of the specific probation violations after the first hearing.

At the first hearing, Mill should have been informed of the alleged probation violations so that he could prepare a defense, while at the second hearing a determination on whether facts existed to justify revocation was supposed to be made, according to the filing by the entertainer's attorneys.

Brinkley made her ruling after one four-hour hearing.

Although the judge cited a handful of reasons for revoking Mill's probation, his lawyers said just two violations were officially given: that he used his Twitter account to write negative comments about his probation officer and the assistant district attorney assigned to his case, and that he failed to provide the probation officer with a working telephone number.

"[N]either of these alleged infractions should have resulted in a revocation of his probation. At the time probation was revoked, Mr. Williams had been under court supervision for over five years and had never committed a new crime. The absence of any direct violation over the course of half a decade . . . should be a cause for celebration and not condemnation. Simply put, the court's probation has achieved its desired effect and has been a resounding success," Mill's lawyers wrote in their filing.


Twitter: @MensahDean

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