Did Meek Mill's Judge Give Him A Fair Sentence?
By: Kayla Pasacreta
Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, is headed back to prison for two to four years after violating his probation. Like any hood loyalty story, #FreeMeek is all over every form of social media. Normally, these pleas to free someone are ignored and laughed upon. But, we have to wonder: is the justice system doing Meek Mill wrong?
The judge’s decision comes after three probation violations. The first violation came when Mill violated his probation by not getting his judge's approval before travelling out of Philadelphia to perform for a concert. The second arrest came at a St. Louis airport, after a reported scuffle with two employees who wanted to take a photo with him. Finally, he was arrested again last October after posting an Instagram video of himself riding a dirt bike. As a result, he had to plea guilty to reckless driving.
Still, Meek’s assault charges from the airport were dropped and he was able to come to a deal with the Assistant District Attorney for the reckless driving charges. So, why is he being penalized when two of the three cases have been dropped? The judge cited a failed judge drug test (even though he hasn't used drugs since last January) and his failure to comply with his probational travel restrictions. This decision was certainly surprising, given the prosecutor's recommendation to not give Mill prison time for the probation violation.
Whether or whether not you like Meek Mill, this charge is a flagrant example of the often unfair justice system. It's no secret that the justice system operates on the belief that black men should be allowed to have to suffer for years because of past transgressions; no matter how little the damning impact on their community was. Rapper and criminal justice reform advocate Jay-Z commented on Meek's conviction,
Mill's conviction serves as yet another reminder of the deeply flawed justice system. Should Meek have done better and tried harder to avoid minor scuffles and probation violations? Yes. Still, the penalty for 2008 drug and weapon charges should not come with the consequence of serving as a puppet bounded to the prison system. How can black men be inspired to change their lives around and do better in their communities if the system continues to offer no way out?