Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has launched #JusticeForMeek, a petition campaign to reverse the rapper’s 2-4 year prison sentence for violating probation. The campaign was sparked by what the governor sees as a “harsh” and “undeserving” sentence and it’s already been signed by more than 171,000 people.
“More than just a celebrity or rapper, Meek Mill has been a powerful voice in the community for our youth,” said Wolf. “He has made positive contributions to many communities and programs, dedicating time and money to the cultivation of our youth and neighborhoods; even through his own adversities. He has continued to be dedicated and shown an immaculate work ethic, even at times when the system tried to prevent him from being able to tour, which is how he makes a living.”
Wolf went on to explain why he decided to launch the petition in Meek’s honor. “This petition is designed to show the amount of people who believe that the punishment was harsh and that him being imprisoned will be a disservice to the youth and community at large,” he added. “We humbly ask for your reconsideration of his sentence.”
Other rappers, including Roc Nation boss JAY-Z, have been vocal about their support for Meek, as well. “The sentence handed down by the Judge — against the recommendation of the Assistant District Attorney and Probation Officer — is unjust and heavy handed,” wrote JAY. “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.”
Meek was sentenced to 2-4 years in prison after he was arrested twice this year, once for assault in St. Louis and once for reckless driving in New York. The charges on those cases were dropped, but the arrests were deemed violations of his probation.
The Philadelphia rapper has been on probation since 2009, stemming from a drug and gun case. His probation has been extended due to other violations.
Mill’s camp has said it will appeal the judge’s sentence. One of his attorneys has also accused the judge of several “inappropriate” acts, saying that the judge is “enamored” with the rapper.
Those who wish to sign the petition can do so via Change.org.