A Philadelphia judge has denied Meek Mill‘s request to replace the judge overseeing his ongoing legal case, the Associated Press reports. Judge Leon Tucker ruled that he lacks jurisdiction to remove Judge Genece Brinkley, whose handling of the Mill case has come under national scrutiny.
Judge Tucker told @MeekMill attorney that the decision is out of his hands. He cannot overrule judge of equal sitting, especially one that’s been sitting longer than he has. Judge Brinkley *must recuse herself. She has shown that she does not plan on doing that @6abc
— Jeannette Reyes (@6abcJeannette) May 30, 2018
Though Brinkley has overseen Mill’s case for more than nine years, she drew wider attention last November when she sentenced Mill to two to four years in prison for a probation violation connected to a decade-old gun and drug conviction. The heavy-handed sentence prompted criticism from proponents of criminal justice reform as well as Meek Mill fans. Mill’s camp has accused Brinkley of exercising a “personal vendetta” against the rapper, arguing that she has been inappropriately involved in his case. Brinkley has defended her impartiality.
In April, Brinkley refused Mill’s request for release on bail over the objections of the Philadelphia district attorney, the mayor, and the Pennsylvania governor. Mill was later released after a special action by the state supreme court. Prosecutors have said Mill’s convictions should be thrown out and the charges reevaluated at a new trial “due to questions of credibility of the arresting officer,” who has since retired.