Meek Mill released from prison
Pennsylvania-based rapper Meek Mill has (finally) been released from prison. Originally arrested over a decade ago for drug and gun charges, his case has been a social justice lightning rod.
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A new hashtag commemorating his release has been created: #MeekFree.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued the rapper an immediate release yesterday. In celebration, the rapper attended a Philadelphia 76ers game later in the day.
Meek Mill has been in and out of prison for a decade. His original sentence was 8 months in prison, with 5 years of probation. After failing to report travel plans upon his initial release, the judge sentenced him to 6 months in prison.
In total, Meek Mill had been sentenced 11 years of probation.
This cycle of release and probation-violation has plagued Meek Mill. The saga came to a head in 2017, as Meek was arrested for a scuffle at a St. Louis Airport.
Meek Mill’s high-profile case has shed light on racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.
The issue, critics argue: the punishment did not fit the original crime.
Meek Mill’s original sentence was extended for a decade. Social justice advocates argue the culture of mass incarceration in America’s prison system is to blame.
Meanwhile, the rapper’s African-American ethnicity sheds light on systemic racial inequality.
Vocal supports for Meek Mill’s release include 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, manager Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Kevin Hart.
"I'd like to thank God, my family, my friends...The Pennsylvania Supreme Court and all my public advocates for their love, support and encouragement during this difficult time."
Meek Mill has committed to using his platform to shed light on this complex issue. Regrettably, his case is not uncommon.
12-13% of the American population is African-American. Meanwhile, that demographic makes up over 35% of the prison population.