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Meek Mill’s petition to have a new judge hear his case has been yet again denied. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced a split 3-3 decision on Tuesday on whether Judge Genece Brinkley should oversee Meek's post-conviction appeal on June 18, The Legal Intelligencer reports.
Mill’s request was the second direct appeal he’s filed in the last three months. While the first request went through, with the high court ruling that the Philadelphia native be released right away on bail, the justices ordered on Tuesday that the court was evenly split regarding Brinkley presiding over Meek’s appeal.
While Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor and Justices Sallie Mundy and David Wecht rejected Mill’s petition, Justice Max Baer delivered a dissenting opinion, and announced he would have allowed Mill’s request.
Baer said, “I believe Judge Genece Brinkley should have disqualified herself,” per The Legal Intelligencer. Justices Debra Todd and Christine Donohue agreed with Baer’s statement. Meek’s legal team was requesting that the case be passed to Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper.
Meek has been pleading for a new judge to hear his case. In early June, Philadelphia Judge Leon Tucker—the supervising judge of Philly's criminal courts—denied Meek’s bid for a new judge on the grounds that the judge could not overrule another judge of “equal standing,” arguing that he “wear[s] the same robe as [Judge Brinkley] does.”
Meek’s June 18 appeal focuses on the credibility of Philadelphia policeman Reginald Graham, who was the only witness to testify at the rapper’s trial in 2008. According to The Legal Intelligencer, a handful of lawyers have revealed that around 250 to 300 post-conviction appeals have been filed over the last few months regarding validity of Graham’s testimony, and a majority of those appeals have been transferred to Woods-Skipper.
In mid-May, Brinkley went against legal precedent by declining the Philadelphia District Attorney’s request to overturn Meek’s drug- and weapons-related conviction and grant him a new trial and ordering an evidentiary hearing on June 18. In December 2017, social justice organizations also accused Judge Brinkley of “inappropriate and unethical conduct” that included failing to disclose financial information required by state law.
The rapper has continually had issues with Brinkley since the beginning, and has accused her of inappropriate behavior such as asking him to record a Boys II Men cover for her and having an “unusual” interest in his management team. Brinkley, however, has steadily refuted those claims.