Shortly before the 31-year-old rapper was released from prison last month, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office asked the court to overturn Meek’s drug- and weapons-related conviction as well as grant him a new trial. The recommendation was made due to corruption allegations against Reginald Graham, Meek’s arresting officer and sole witness in his 2007 trial.
Judge Genece Brinkley refused to honor the D.A.’s request, and instead ordered an evidentiary hearing for June 18. It was a move that went against legal precedent, as pointed out by Bradley Bridge, an attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia.
Meek’s legal team recently obtained an affidavit from Bridge, who explains the ways in which Judge Brinkley is mishandling the artist’s Post-Conviction Relief Act request. He says he has worked on thousands of cases in which the defendant’s charges were dismissed due to questions regarding the credibility of involved law enforcement.
Bridge writes: “I have never had a judge order an evidentiary hearing where the prosecution has concede the legitimacy of PCRA relief. This confirms the necessity of having consistent process as currently established by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, the Defender Association and Judge Woods-Skipper that foster systemic due process and justice. The alternative is randomness that at best permits arbitrariness and at worst allows for ill-will.”
Meek’s legal team has filed Bridge’s affidavit in court. It’s important to note that the document never mentions Brinkley by name, but does call attention to the details in Meek’s case.
“Our supplemental filing today, and particularly the affidavit of Bradley Bridge, a long-time and well-respected Public Defender in Philadelphia, shows once again how Meek is being treated unfairly and differently than any other similarly-situated defendant,” Meek’s attorney Joe Tacopina said in a statement to Complex. “As Mr. Bridge makes clear, in none of the over 2,000 PCRA cases he has handled, has there ever been an evidentiary hearing when the District Attorney has agreed to a new trial. Judge Brinkley’s insistence on holding such a hearing when the District Attorney’s office has stated in open court that a new trial is warranted subjects Meek to unfair and different treatment, and is a waste of the District Attorney’s and the taxpayers’ resources.”