Image via Zachary Mazur/FilmMagic
The global spotlight on the Meek Mill case has inspired the Defender Association of Philadelphia to request retrials for multiple clients they say have been wrongfully convicted.
Earlier this month, Meek’s attorney Joe Tacopina—in response to an explosive Philadelphia Inquirer report—said the latest developments should result in his client being released from jail. “Across the justice system, there are many instances of people that are incarcerated being subsequently let out when police corruption is uncovered,” Tacopina told Complex. “This would certainly be one of those instances.” Shortly after giving those comments, Tacopina filed an appeal in the form a Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) petition.
Now, the Defender Association of Philadelphia has been moved to do the same in an effort to “ensure clients who were wrongfully convicted in Philadelphia are eligible for a re-trial or get their charges outright dismissed.” Complex obtained documents related to multiple PCRA filings, including one client’s drug charge case involving Officer Reginald Graham. As revealed in the aforementioned Inquirer report, Graham was accused by another officer in a sworn affidavit of lying under oath. Graham was also reportedly included on the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s “secret list” of suspect officers. His name appears in multiple recent PCRA filings.
“Meek filed a petition to have his original conviction overturned, and to be released on bail while his application is considered by the court,” Tacopina told Complex Wednesday. “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.”
Meek’s sentencing for alleged probation violations has received widespread scrutiny. After public shout-outs from Jay Z and Drake, Olympic snowboarder Tit Stante took #FreeMeekMill to the global stage. Adding the hashtag to his board, Stante later told Pitchfork, was a way to draw attention to the “flaws” of the U.S. justice system.