MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee woman sentenced to prison for illegally registering to vote while on probation will get a new trial on that charge.
Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Mark Ward on Friday granted a motion for the new trial for Pamela Moses, according to media reports.
Moses, 44, was convicted in November of registering to vote illegally in Memphis in 2019 and was sentenced earlier this month to six years and one day. She has said she was unaware that she was ineligible to vote.
Moses had previous felony convictions that permanently barred her from voting. In 2015, she pleaded guilty to two felonies as well as three misdemeanors and was placed on probation for seven years.
She filed a motion asking for a new trial. Legal experts have called her sentence excessive.
Moses, a Black Lives Matter activist who ran for Memphis mayor in 2019, said she thought her probation from a 2015 guilty plea had ended, and that she could begin working to restore her voting rights, the Daily Memphian reported.
Moses said the Tennessee Department of Correction gave her a certificate saying her probation had ended, but then rescinded the certificate, the online newspaper reported.
Prosecutors said in a release that Moses’ sentence was overturned and a new trial ordered because the “Tennessee Department of Correction failed to turn over a necessary document in the case.”
Judge Ward said Friday he was treating that error as “an inadvertent failure.”