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November 08, 2017

More than 100,000 people petition Pennsylvania to free Meek Mill

After a judge sentenced rapper Meek Mill to prison for a probation, a petition asking Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to "save Meek Mill" began circulating online Tuesday.

In a day's work, the effort had collected roughly 110,000 signatures by Wednesday night.

"[Mill] 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," the petition stated.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley reportedly cited a failed drug test and argued that Mill and his managers repeatedly scheduled concerts after her August order that barred the rapper from performing outside of Philly or Montgomery County.

Mill, a North Philadelphia native, was sentenced to two to four years in state prison.

"I gave you break after break, and you basically just thumbed your nose at this court,” Brinkley, who has presided over the case since 2008, told Mill, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Mill, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, was arrested twice this year and was placed under house arrest for 90 days last year for a probation violation.

But among other points, critics of the sentencing argued that prosecutors recommended Mill not be imprisoned, noting that he had been clean since January and complied with most probation requirements. The violations stemmed from a nearly decade-old gun and drug case, for which he served eight months.

"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," the petition states. "We humbly ask for your reconsideration of his sentence."

The petition also argues that Mill worked to "change his image while still remaining true to his artistry.

A number of celebrities and others on social media spoke out against the sentencing this week.

The page can be found here.