Meek Mill granted new hearing in long-running appeals case

/ CBS/AP

Rapper Meek Mill on criminal justice reform

Meek Mill's lawyers will get a chance to argue the rapper's 2008 conviction on gun and drug charges should be overturned. Pennsylvania Superior Court granted Meek Mill a hearing in his long-running appeal, his legal team announced Tuesday.

Arguments are scheduled for July 16 in Philadelphia. Meek Mill has been trying to get his conviction overturned because of questions about the credibility of the arresting officer.

Meek Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, became a symbol for criminal justice reform after a Philadelphia judge sentenced him in 2017 to two to four years in prison for minor probation violations. He spent months in prison before a court ordered him released in April of last year.

Meek Mill and high-profile supporters launch initiative for criminal justice reform

Shortly after his release, Meek Mill told "CBS This Morning" that many people of color face similar legal hardships throughout the country.

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"This happens to minorities on a daily basis where they don't have a voice," the rapper said, "and I just came from – it's almost like cities…inside prisons where people have no contact with the world."

He believes his celebrity status helped secure his release from prison. "I'm just lucky to have people of power and much influence to stand behind me and speak up," he said.

Last month, Philadelphia's top prosecutor called for a new trial and judge for Meek Mill, saying Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley abused her discretion and has been biased against him. Brinkley, who denied Meek Mill's bid for a new trial last year, has rejected accusations of bias and refused calls to remove herself from the case.

"We're looking forward to the oral argument before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and to, hopefully, having Meek's conviction vacated," Jordan Siev, Mill's lawyer, said in a statement. "In light of the district attorney's recent filing, where he supports the granting of a new trial to Meek and the recusal of Judge Brinkley, we hope to have this injustice rectified once and for all."

First published on June 4, 2019 / 8:03 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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