A Tennessee prosecutor dropped criminal charges against Pamela Moses, a Memphis woman with a previous felony conviction who was sentenced to six years and one day in prison after she tried to restore her right to vote in 2019. The voter fraud conviction from her trial was thrown out in February after a judge ruled that the Tennessee Department of Correction had improperly withheld evidence that was later uncovered by The Guardian. Moses had been set to appear in court on Monday to find out whether prosecutors would pursue a retrial, reports the New York Times. Moses will not face a second trial “in the interest of judicial economy,” said Amy Weirich, the district attorney of Shelby County.
Moses spent 82 days in custody, “which is sufficient,” Weirich said. Moses is also permanently barred from registering to vote or voting in Tennessee. The sentencing of Moses, who is Black, had spurred outrage among voting rights supporters who said that the case highlighted racial disparities in the criminal prosecution of voting fraud cases and voting restoration rights laws that sow confusion and leave many people with felony convictions unsure of their rights. In 2019, Moses, a Black Lives Matter activist, decided she wanted to run for mayor of Memphis and vote in the upcoming election. She knew that she couldn’t do either while she was on probation for prior felony convictions. he believed her probation was over. A judge told Moses that she was still on probation. When she went to the probation office to confirm, she was told she was done with her felony probation. Then the state said the probation officer had made a mistake and that Moses could not vote because she was still on probation.