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Memphis woman granted new trial after being sentenced to 6 years for illegally registering to vote

The judge in the Pamela Moses case cited evidence that should not have been allowed and an email that had not been disclosed to the defense.
Credit: Shelby County Sheriff's Office
Pamela Moses, 44, faces four to eight years in prison when she is sentenced on December 10 in Criminal Court.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis judge has granted a motion for a new trial for Pamela Moses, who was sentenced to six years after being convicted of illegally registering to vote.

Pamela Moses was convicted in November 2021 of filing documents in 2019 to have her voting rights restored while still serving probation on a 2015 conviction.

During sentencing in January 2022, the Shelby County District Attorney's Office said 44-year-old Moses had 16 prior felony convictions and committed the voting offense in 2019 while on probation. At the time, the judge said that if she completes programs in prison and maintains good behavior, he'd consider placing her on probation after nine months.

According to the order granted Friday, Judge W. Mark Ward said evidence presented during the trial that Moses had been convicted of a felony in 2000 and had her right to vote restored in 2014 should not have been allowed. He reasoned that the evidence was initially allowed and proper when Moses faced 12 counts of illegal voting, but it should have been disallowed when the prosecution dropped those 12 charges before the trial got underway.

Judge Ward also cited a Brady violation regarding an email that should have been turned over to the defense. The judge did not say the violation was intentional, but did say information in the email could have been relevant at trial. He said he was treating it as “an inadvertent failure to provide discovery under Rule 16.”

Read the full order granting the new trial HERE.

Statement from Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich: “The Tennessee Department of Correction failed to turn over a necessary document in the case of Pamela Moses and therefore her conviction has been overturned by the judge. When reporters or political opportunists use the word ‘state’ they need to be crystal clear that the error was made by the TDOC and not any attorney or officer in the office of the Shelby County District Attorney.”

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