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Meek Mill's 12-year legal battle finally comes to an end


RAPPER MEEK Mill has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour gun charge to resolve a case that has kept him on probation for most of his adult life.

The 32-year-old rapper, born Robert Williams, reached the plea agreement in Philadelphia on Tuesday (August 27) after an appeals court threw out his conviction last month.

He had already served about two years in prison over the 2007 case, and a judge decided he would not spend any additional time behind bars.

"I know this has been a long road for you and hopefully this will be the end of it," said Judge Leon Tucker.

District attorney (DA) Larry Krasner tweeted: “Following careful [Philadelphia DA's Office] review, I know two things to be true: 1. Mr. Williams (@MeekMill) was unfairly treated in a case that exemplifies the destruction caused by excessive supervision, instances of corruption, and unfair processes in our criminal courts. 2. Mr. Williams was also guilty of illegally possessing a firearm on the day he was arrested, a fact that he has established by his own testimony and public statements for years.”

He continued: "@MeekMill has demonstrated significant rehabilitation; he has evolved and grown. The [Philadelphia DA's Office] is hopeful that Mr. Williams will continue his good work @REFORM in ways that will help the criminal justice system to similarly evolve and grow.”

The negotiated plea comes after both sides questioned the credibility of the arresting officer.

The defence also accused the trial judge of bias for sending the entertainer back to prison over minor probation violations.

Williams has called the 12-year ordeal "mentally and emotionally challenging", but says millions of people face the same issues.

Writing on Twitter on Tuesday, Meek Mill said: “I’m extremely grateful that my long legal battle is finally behind me and I appreciate that it has sparked a much-needed discussion about probation reform and the inequalities that exist within our two Americas.”

He has started a foundation, Reform Alliance, with JAY-Z, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the 76ers' Michael Rubin, to promote criminal justice reform.

The foundation aims to dramatically reduce the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system – starting with probation and parole.

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