BLM Memphis Founder Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for Illegally Registering to Vote

Jackson, TN. (WNBJ)-


Founder of Black Lives Matter Memphis Pamela Moses was sentenced to six years and one day in prison last week for trying to register to vote. In 2015, Pamela Moses pled guilty to two felonies and three misdemeanors. Her felony convictions render her ineligible to vote in the state of Tennessee. Though she is ineligible to vote her local county board of elections failed to remove her from voting rolls, and Moses stated she was unaware that she was ineligible. Bede Anyanwu (Moses’ Sentencing Attorney) stated, “before she knew that she wasn’t eligible she went through the system.”


After going to court in 2019 and being told her probation was not up, Moses says she went to the Tennessee Department of Corrections to check for herself. Upon her visit she was told her probation was in fact up and received a signed certificate confirming her probation ended. Bede Anyanwu (Moses’ Sentencing Attorney) informed us, “she took the necessary steps. Step, by step, by step, by step, to restore her right.”


Dawn Harrington and Shauntel Mathis-Chapman were two-character witnesses during Moses’ sentencing. Both women have non-profits that advocate for the rights of people who are formally incarcerated. Dawn told 39 news this sort of mistake from the department of corrections is nothing new. Dawn Harrington (Free Hearts Founder) explained that “we work with over 1,000 people across the state of Tennessee. That are working on getting their voting rights restored, and what we’ve found in our work is so many mistakes. Usually, it’s the other way around where probation officers and clerks tell someone they’re not eligible when they actually are.”


Dawns’ non-profit free hearts passed a community-based alternative for primary caregivers’ law to advocate for caregivers who have non-violent charges and allow them community alternatives instead of serving jail time. Shauntel Mathis-Chapmen founder of Phase II Adult Re-Entry Training Camp offered her services through this law which was ultimately denied.

Shauntel Mathis-Chapman (Phase II Adult Re-Entry Training Camp Founder) stated, “Phase II did provide Ms. Moses with an acceptance letter, and we also testified upon the court that we accepted her and that we wanted her to work the program instead of incarceration.”

During the sentencing Judge Micheal Ward accused Moses of deception and stated that she tricked the probation department. Attorney Bede Anyanwu says he has never seen such bias in his life. Bede Anyanwu (Moses’ Sentencing Attorney) informed us, “even the prosecutor agreed this is a white-collar crime. There’s no harm, nobody was injured. She did not actually vote.”


We did reach out to Prosecutor Kirby May who chose not to comment at the moment.


Makayla Davis

mdavis@nbc39tv.com

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