JAY-Z has labelled Meek Mill’s prison sentence “unjust and heavy handed”.
The 30-year-old was convicted of drug dealing and gun possession in 2008, and received a prison sentence of 11-to-23 months. Upon his release in 2009, he was placed on probation, but struggled to stick to the terms of the arrangement. On Monday (06Nov17), Pennsylvania judge Genece Brinkley sentenced Mill, real name Robert Rihmeek Williams, to two-to-four years behind bars for the probation violation, and JAY-Z was among the celebrities who slammed the sentence.
“The sentence handed down by the Judge – against the recommendation of the Assistant District Attorney and Probation Officer – is unjust and heavy handed,” he wrote on Facebook. “We will always stand by and support Meek Mill, both as he attempts to right this wrongful sentence and then in returning to his musical career.”
Meanwhile, actor Kevin Hart wrote on Instagram: “Praying for my brother @meekmill right now. God sometimes puts the toughest battles on his strongest soldiers. I’m here for you man!!!! My brother for life…Always here for you man!!! This storm will pass…Stay strong & keep your head up.”
The sentence came as a surprise to many because prosecutors in the case recommended the rapper be spared more jail time for the probation violations, commending Mill for staying away from drugs since January and complying with the requirements of his probation.
Following the sentencing, Mill’s attorney Joe Tacopina told TMZ.com that the judge has a “long-standing vendetta” against his client. Tacopina claims that during a meeting in chambers last year (16), Brinkley suggested to Mill that he should do a cover of Boyz II Men’s On Bended Knee and give her a shout out. When Mill laughed at the suggestion, Brinkley apparently said “I’m not kidding”. And when Mill refused to do the remake, Brinkley is then reported to have said “Okay, suit yourself”.
Tacopina claims Brinkley showed bias when sentencing Mill and added they are planning to appeal.