Last week, a Black Lives Matter organizer was sentenced to six years and one day in prison after being convicted of illegally registering to vote in Memphis, Tennessee.
Pamela Moses, the founder of the BLM chapter in Memphis, was sentenced to prison on February 3 after she was convicted last November of illegally registering to vote. Moses had received prior felony convictions in 2015, rendering her ineligible to vote.
“You tricked the probation department into giving you documents saying you were off probation,” said Judge Mark Ward. “After you were convicted of a felony in 2015, you voted six times as a convicted felon.”
In 2015, Moses pled guilty to felony charges of forgery and tampering with evidence. She also pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of stalking, perjury, and theft under $500.
Public records indicate she was also arrested in 2016 and charged with inciting a riot. Those charges were later dropped.
“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,” said Moses on January 26 at her sentencing hearing.
A left-wing activist in Memphis charged that her conviction was wrongful, and that her sentence was overly harsh even if she were guilty.
“Elected officials have used incredible amounts of resources in a time when there’s a backlog in this justice system unlike any we’ve seen before. They use resources to try and … convict this woman for trying to vote,” said Josh Spickler, executive director of the group Just City.
Moses earlier argued that she never actually voted and that her registration was inadvertent. She blamed officials for not telling her about being ineligible due to her probation on the 2015 charges.
“I relied on the election commission because those are the people who were supposed to know what you’re supposed to do,” Moses told TV Channel 3 last December. “And I found out that they didn’t know.”
But prosecutors alleged during her trial that Moses knew perfectly well that she was not eligible to vote:
“Even knowing that order denied her expiration of sentence, Pamela Moses submitted that form with her application for voter registration and signed an oath as to the accuracy of the information submitted,” prosecutors said. “Pamela Moses knowingly made or consented to a false entry on her permanent registration.”