Meek Mill celebrated a momentous day on Thursday (Jan. 12) when he announced that outgoing Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf had granted him a pardon on the 15-year-old drug and gun charges that for years bedeviled the rapper’s life and career. The moves means the offenses will be permanently expunged from his criminal record. “Thankyall. I’m only gone do more for my community on God!,” Meek wrote on Instagram alongside a slightly redacted copy of the official pardon document. “#newlevelsunlocked,” he added.
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Over on Twitter, Meek, 35, added, “I got pardoned today…, I’m taking things really far from being a trench baby!” The pardon reads, “Therefore, know ye that in consideration of the premises and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the [redacted] said Robert R. Williams (Alias: Meek Mill) born on May 6, 1987, identified [redacted]… crime(s) whereof he was convicted as aforesaid, and he is thereby fully pardoned [redacted].
Mill (born Robert Rihmeek Williams), was convicted on drug and weapons charges in 2008 — when he was 18-years-old — and sentenced to 11-23 months in prison and released after serving eights months of his sentence and was later placed on probation for five years. What followed was a years-long series of legal entanglements that helped transform the rapper into an advocate for criminal justice reform.
Mill was arrested again in 2012 after cops said they smelled marijuana coming from his car, then was back in court two years later on a probation violation for booking performances outside of his native Philly without a judge’s approval, resulting in another prison sentence. The same judge sentenced him to 90 days of house arrest in 2016 for another alleged violation for traveling outside Philly, and once more in 2017 for violating his terms of probation, netting him a two to four year sentence in state prison.
In July 2019, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania granted Mill’s appeal, thereby overturning his 2008 conviction and ordering a new trial to be overseen by a different judge. That same year, Mill launched the non-profit REFORM Alliance, whose mission is to “transform probation and parole by changing laws, systems and culture to create real pathways to work and wellbeing.”
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