Memphis activist Pamela Moses and her California legal team have called for the dismissal of her voter fraud charges.
A late-morning press conference on Friday (March 11) at 201 Poplar was the formal rollout of Moses’ new legal team and the first time Moses had publicly spoken since she was released from a two-month incarceration.
Rodney S. Diggs, director of Ivie McNeil Wyatt Purcel and Diggs, and James Bryant of The Cochran Firm Los Angeles, comprise Moses’ new defense team.
The social justice activist was sentenced to six years after being convicted of illegally attempting to vote. Moses was picked up in December after a judge revoked her bond in a discretionary move. Moses was held until Feb. 25 when a new trial was ordered.
As family and supporters gathered for Friday’s press event, Moses maintained her innocence, reiterating that she had no idea she was ineligible to vote when she applied for her voting rights.
Moses thanked family and supporters for their support as she recounted, extensively, the mental toll.
“Being incarcerated for something I didn’t do is psychological torture,” Moses said. “I don’t know if y’all understand that, but it is going to take some time for me to heal. I’m not only physically not well, but emotionally and mentally. I’m sleep-deprived with uncontrollable anxiety from this unnecessary ordeal.”
Moses said she returned home to find that her dog, Victor, had been euthanized without her knowledge or consent. His death, Moses, said, was added trauma.
Diggs said the Shelby County District Attorney’s charges were unfair and that sentencing was excessively harsh.
“Let’s be clear on what occurred,” Diggs said. “In 2015, there were charges Ms. Pamela Moses plead to. But during that time, she was never told: ‘If I were to plea to certain charges to avoid jail time, that my voting rights would be taken away.’ Otherwise, she never would have done so.”
Diggs said when Moses wanted to run for public office, she received a revocation letter prohibiting her from running for office.
“…When she goes to the Department of Corrections to find out how much longer she was on probation. She was told she ‘was not even in the system’ and was no longer on probation.”
Diggs said Moses was given a document to verify as much, and “this document” is “the reason why we are here.” He contended that the document restored Moses’ right to vote.
Diggs said some key evidence was omitted from Moses’ trial. He called on Shelby County District Attorney Gen. Amy Weirich to “take the lead” and dismiss all charges.
Bryant, Moses other attorney, said Moses had good intensions when she tried to get her voting rights restored. Bryant said if the district attorney proceeds with a new trial, he and his colleagues will push for Weirich’s recusal and “a special counsel” to make a judgment.
The New Tri-State Defender reached out to Weirich, who declined comment. She still holds to her Feb. 25 statement when a new trial was ordered:
“The Tennessee Department of Corrections 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.”
Moses, 44, is still a-waiting a new trial date.