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Memphis BLM founder sentenced to 6 years in prison for illegally voting

Moses has 16 prior criminal convictions and committed the voting offense while on probation.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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The founder of the Memphis Black Lives Matter chapter, 44-year-old Pamela Moses, has been sentenced to six years and one day in prison after being convicted in November of illegally registering to vote back in 2019.

Moses, who has 16 prior criminal convictions, was sentenced on Jan. 31, according to the Selby County District Attorney's office.

On April 29, 2015, Moses pled guilty to tampering with evidence and forgery, both felonies, and to misdemeanor counts of perjury, stalking, theft under $500 and escape, and was placed on probation for seven years.

The 10-count indictment came in 2015 after she was accused of stalking and harassing a Shelby County judge between February and March 2014, as well as impersonating an attorney and a notary public in an attempt to file a Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct complaint against General Sessions Judge Phyllis Gardner, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

The charge of tampering with evidence is one of the few felonies that would cause a person in Tennessee to permanently lose their right to vote in the state, according to The Washington Post.

Moses claimed that no one had explained that her guilty plea would mean she lost the right to vote, and was under the impression that her voting rights had been restored when she went to vote in 2019.

"They never mentioned anything about voting," she told The Guardian last year. "They never mentioned anything about not voting, being able to vote … none of that."

According to the District Attorney's office, on Sept. 3, 2019, "Moses filed a certificate of restoration and application for voter registration with the Shelby County Election Commission, falsely asserting that her sentence had expired and that she was eligible to register to vote."

Moses was still serving her 2015 probation at the time she filed the documents.

At the sentencing, Judge Michael Ward accused Moses of deceiving the probation department in order to be able to vote. "You tricked the probation department into giving you documents saying you were off probation," Ward said in court.

Moses claimed in the courtroom that that was not her intent. "I did not falsify anything. All I did was try to get my rights to vote back the way the people at the election commission told me and the way the clerk did," she said at the hearing.

Moses' attorney, Bede Anyanwu, said that his client intends to appeal the sentencing. "She believes the sentencing was beyond the evidence that was presented," he told The Washington Post.

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