Looks like public outrage over Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill’s unjust sentencing could open doors for others wronged by a corrupt criminal system. (Mill is currently incarcerated for charges stemming from a 2007 case, when he was only 19-years-old.)
Inspired by Mill’s lawyer Joe Tacopina’s Post-Conviction Relief Act petition, filed after it was revealed the officer who arrested Mill was featured on a secret list of corrupt Philly cops, the Defender Association of Philadelphia, a non-profit organization dedicating to providing city-appointed criminal justice defense to those who need it, has begun requesting retrials for its clients who were wrongly convicted.
The organization is working to “ensure clients who were wrongfully convicted in Philadelphia are eligible for a re-trial or get their charges outright dismissed.”
Tacopina told Complex about the PCRA petition Wednesday, and how it might affect others in the Philadelphia prison system:
“Meek filed a petition to have his original conviction overturned, and to be released on bail while his application is considered by the court. Other defendants have also filed for similar relief based on the existence of the list, claiming violations of their rights, and also seeking to have their convictions overturned. We are hopeful that this newly discovered evidence will result in the immediate release from prison of all of the people convicted based on the wrongful conduct of the officers at issue, and the overturning of their convictions.”
Tacopina, along with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, are using public awareness surrounding Meek Mill’s case to draw attention to a corrupt criminal justice system and it’s victims—that’s something to champion. Mill might still be in prison, but it really does look like his situation could further the fight for justice, especially for those who don’t hold any celebrity. That’s crucial work.