MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Memphis activist Pamela Moses will be spending the holidays behind bars, but her supporters never thought she would be taken to jail before she received a sentence.
Her crime centers around trying to vote when she is a convicted felon, stripped of her voting rights in Tennessee for tampering with evidence.
Dawn Harrington is with Nashville Free Hearts, an organization that advocates for families impacted by incarceration. Now, they are fighting for Moses.
Harrington said she and other witnesses were ready to testify on Moses behalf, but were never called.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said. “This is for sentencing, you know this is her life. That is at stake.”
In court, she said Moses asked for time to get another attorney and the judge allowed it. They assumed she would be free to go until she got one.
“Right after that the judge said Pamela Moses you have been convicted by a felony by the state of Tennessee we are revoking your bond,” Harrington said.
Moses’ attorney on this case said the judge has the discretion to revoke bond after a person is convicted.
WREG tried to talk to the judge who ordered her to jail but he was not available.
“It definitely seemed vindictive, malicious and there was no need she she was very clearly showing up the Court she had not been sentence she it’s definitely seems to be racist personal and you know unprecedented how she was treated,” Harrington said.
She said what happened to Moses happens too often when it comes to voting rights.
State officials who fill out the voter registration form make a mistake in who they clear to vote. Then the voter gets charged.
“We see this all the time and I work helping people in every single county. With restoring their voting rights, to the point where we have mounted a legal challenge that’s still ongoing about it,” Harrington said.
Moses’ sentencing hearing is January 21. She faces up to 8 years in jail.