There is a troubling case in Tennessee this week where Pamela Moses has been given six years and one day in prison for illegally registering to vote last November. It is an exceptionally severe sentence, particularly due to the mitigating circumstances in the case.
Moses, 44, is a Black Lives Matter activist and former Democratic mayoral candidate in Memphis. She has an extensive record of felony convictions. Moses pleaded guilty in 2015 to felonies including tampering with evidence and forgery, as well as misdemeanor charges of perjury, stalking, theft under $500, and escape. The tampering charge was the barrier for voting eligibility because she was serving seven years of probation.
However, she wanted to vote in the 2020 election and asked officials at the corrections department and county election commission to confirm that she had completed her probation on the last offense. They signed off on the form, confirming that she had completed her probation. She then submitted the form with her voter registration.
The officials later said that they made a mistake. While she told the court that she received a letter saying that her voting rights were restored, Criminal Court Judge W. Mark Ward felt that she intentionally deceived probation officials to restore her voting rights. He stated “you tricked the probation department into giving you documents saying you were off probation.”
Even if the court is correct about her intentional deception, six years strikes me as quite excessive. I understand that the crime also violated her probation but six years is a sentence that we usually see for violent felonies.
108 thoughts on “Tennessee Woman Receives Six Years in Prison for Illegally Registering to Vote in 2020”
It’s time for BLM radicals & anarchists to rise up against white imperialist aggressors.
Glorious Supreme Dear Divine Leader, Kim Jong Un wishes everyone a happy lunar New Year…..Year of the tiger!
After all, what is best in life? Crush the enemy and see them flee before you.
Speaking of Kim Jong Un, Trump stole his ‘love letters’ with Kim Jong Un from the White House, and the National Archives had to fly to Florida to get them back. https://t.co/jcrx9XNOQt
Trump has had a lot of problems obeying the law when it comes to turning over all of the WH records required by law. A lot of the records were torn up by Trump and had to be pieced back together. Ivanka is also apparently in violation of the law, having failed to turn over all WH records required by law.
Yup. Probably true. Like Hillary stealing White House silverware and china.
Surprised Turley didn’t go into more detail on this story. He’s criticizing the harshness of the sentence but leaves out the fact that it was the state’s own mistake that put her in that position and the judge claiming without evidence that she intentionally misled the state. It was the state that filled out the application to have her right to vote restored AND approved it.
Then there’s the judge claiming she intentionally misled the state without evidence for justifying the 6 year sentence. It looks more like the sentence is based solely on the judge assuming without evidence she intentionally misled the state. The ruling is being currently appealed.
You say twice that it was “without evidence,” but the judge’s evidence for it being intentional on her part is that she was previously told by a judge that she was ineligible. She doubted the latter judge’s accuracy and went to the probation department to ask them to check. What I find inexcusable is the sentencing judge’s claim that she “tricked” the officer who completed the form. She doubted what she’s been told by the court, reasonably went to the probation office to have them double-check, was given mistaken info by that office, and registered based on the form from the probation office. She should not be held liable for the probation office’s mistake.
Anonymous, the “it” refers to the judge’s claim that she tricked the officer. What exactly was the “trick”? Without specifying exactly what this “trick” was the judge claims it was intentional despite the fact that it was the responsibility of the officer and the agency to make sure it was legal. The application itself states that the officer must verify if the applicant is legally allowed to vote. Obviously they didn’t do that and they approved her eligibility in writing no less. Her past crimes shouldn’t have factored into the issue because she met all the requirements of her previous sentences.
The question still remains, what specifically did she do to “trick” the officer as the judge claims?
I hadn’t realized that you were only referring to the judge’s statement to her that “You tricked the probation department into giving you documents saying you were off probation.” Thanks for clarifying. I misunderstood, as that wasn’t clear from your claims “the judge claiming without evidence that she intentionally misled the state” and “the judge claiming she intentionally misled the state without evidence.”
You and I agree that we don’t see evidence of Moses having “tricked” the probation department.
Part of this story is that she chose to plead guilty earlier to crimes that carry a penalty of permanently losing one’s right to vote, without having been informed that she would permanently lose her right to vote as a side-effect of her guilty plea:
Anyanwu said some of the counts against Moses came decades earlier, when she was in her 20s, and he said she was forced to plead guilty in some of the cases “given the fact that she is a lady of limited resources.” “She, like some of my clients, plead guilty because they don’t have the money to fight these battles,” he said. One of the most serious incidents was when Moses pleaded guilty in 2015 to a 10-count indictment, including perjury and tampering with evidence. She allegedly stalked and harassed a Shelby County judge between February and March 2014 by impersonating a lawyer and notary public in an effort to file a complaint against the judge, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Moses was given an eight-year suspended sentence, and the judge in that case ordered that she serve the time on probation.
Although the charge of tampering with evidence is one of the few felonies in Tennessee that causes someone to permanently lose their voting rights in the state, she told the Guardian last year that no one explained to her that pleading guilty meant she’d be ineligible to vote. “They never mentioned anything about voting,” she told the outlet. “They never mentioned anything about not voting, being able to vote … none of that.”
I think the state should be required to inform people of this when they offer a plea deal, and the person should sign a statement that they’re aware of this. But I also think that losing one’s right to vote shouldn’t be a side-effect for any crimes except election-related crimes.
When a defendant pleads guilty or no contest (nolo contendere) they are required to complete (their counsel fills it out, except for the parts filled out by the prosecutor) and sign what is known as a Tahl Form. Every state requires the form for a plea. The form list all the defendants Constitutional Rights they are waiving, they have had those right explained to them by their counsel, including what all the penalties will be when they plea, any enhancements, whether probation will be informal or formal, the consequences of their plea, e.g. loss of voting rights in this case, amount of fines and penalty assessments, how they will be paid, etc.
The form also includes a block which is checked by defense counsel, in which defense counsel states they have reviewed and explained everything in the Tahl form to the defendant.
Both Counsel for the defendant and the defendant sign the form.
When the Court takes the plea, the Court will review on the record all the defendant’s Constitutional Rights and what the penalties are, and consequences of the plea or will have defense counsel review all those rights with the defendant on the record, and whether any other promises were made to the defendant not in the Tahl form. Counsel will join in the plea or indicate that the plea is made against counsel’s advice.
If the Court does it, then the Court will ask, after the Court has explained the defendant’s rights, defense counsel to voir dire their client if they understand their plea, that they are changing their plea to guilty, the defendant is admitting the truth of each and every allegation against them, what Constitutional rights they have waived, the consequences of their plea, the penalties imposed, etc.
The Court then ask the defendant how do they plead to the count or counts in the complaint, guilty or not guilty.
To say this defendant, or any defendant making a plea, didn’t understand what they were pleading to or what the consequence of their plea is ludicrous.
I tried searching the TN courts website and the TN government site to confirm your claim, but haven’t found confirmation that this occurs in TN state cases.
Can you provide confirmation that TN does this?
RULE 303: NOTIFICATION AND WAIVER OF RIGHTS.
(a) Right to Attorney.
(1) Notification of Right to an Attorney. In all proceedings in which a party is by law entitled to representation by an attorney, the court shall expressly inform the party of the right to an attorney. If a party waives the right to an attorney, the court shall inform the party of the continuing right to an attorney at all stages of the proceedings.
(2) Waiver of Right to an Attorney. No party shall be deemed to have waived the assistance of an attorney until and unless:
(A) The party has been fully informed of the right to an attorney;
(B) The party subsequently knowingly and voluntarily waives the right to an attorney; and
(C) The waiver is confirmed in writing by the party.
(3) Appointment of Attorney. When an indigent party who is entitled to an attorney does not knowingly and voluntarily waive the right to an attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent that party.
(b) Notification and Waiver of Additional Rights.
(1) Notification and Waiver Where Party Represented by an Attorney. When the party is represented by an attorney, the attorney shall fully advise that party of the party’s rights under the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of Tennessee, any other law, and any rule of court. The party shall make the decision whether or not to waive those rights, after full consultation with the party’s attorney. The obligation of the attorney to advise the party of the party’s rights in no way diminishes the court’s obligations both to advise the party of the party’s rights and to ascertain whether waivers of those rights are made knowingly and voluntarily.
(2) Waiver of Rights Where Party Not Represented by an Attorney. When the party is not represented by an attorney, that party may not waive any rights guaranteed to the party under the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of Tennessee, any other law, or any rule of court unless the Court has fully advised the party of the party’s rights and has determined that he or she knowingly and voluntarily waives those rights.
(3) Notification of Rights to a Party Who has Waived the Right to an Attorney. At the outset of any juvenile court hearing, the court shall advise any party who has waived the right to an attorney or who does not have an attorney of:
(A) The privilege against self-incrimination;
(B) The right cross-examine adverse witnesses;
(C) The right to present testimony on the party’s behalf;
(D) The right to subpoena evidence on the party’s behalf;
(E) The right to appeal any final order, the time limits for and manner in which the right to appeal can be perfected, and the right to an attorney on appeal.
(c) Knowing and Voluntary Waiver.
(1) Criteria for Knowing and Voluntary Waivers. A court shall not accept a waiver or deem a waiver to have been made voluntarily and knowingly if the party is or was unable to make an intelligent and understanding decision because of the party’s mental condition, education, experience, the nature or complexity of the case, or any other relevant factor.
(2) Procedure for Making and Confirming Waivers. Any and all waivers of rights shall be made orally and in open court, and shall be confirmed in writing by the party and the judge. When the party is not represented by an attorney, the court shall advise that party in open court of the right to an attorney. The court shall not proceed with the hearing unless that party has waived the right to an attorney in accordance with the provisions of this rule.
Anytime a defendant makes a plea of guilty or no contest in court, it requires a waiver of their Constitutional
If a party is in pro per, i.e., representing themselves, then the Court will appoint the PD, for purposes of the plea only, to review and advise the defendant of his/her Constitutional rights.
Everyday thousands of defendants plead guilty or no contest throughout the U.S., and in each plea there is a waiver of their constitutional rights on the record.
The problem I saw in reading the article was there was not mention of the waiver in the prIor case the party was on probation for and the current case, other than the defendant was on probation.
If you are charged with a new case while on probation you will have the new charges plus a probation violation. Defendants are always advised in a plea deal that if they violate their probation, including a new charge, they can be sentenced up to the maximum sentence imposed by law, in this case 6 years and a day.
Thanks Maj229. I had suspected that what you described would be the case but, not being a lawyer (or a criminal), I had no way to know that this was true.
Do you have any knowledge on what sentencing guidelines the judge may have been following when he sentenced Moses to six years?
I wonder if the six year charge is not related the her previous crimes from 2015 which included the tampering charge that caused her to lose her right to vote in the first place. She was given an eight year suspended sentence with probation for those crimes. Could it be that, due to probation violation, that her previous sentence was reinstated?
Ray – In my opinion, (I’ve been a California lawyer for 44 years) I believe the Court took into consideration her prior criminal record, which a Court can do. A Court is required, when sentencing a defendant, to take into consideration factors in enhancement and factors in mitigation, when imposing a sentence.
This defendant faced two problems, first her criminal record (an enhancement), and second she was still on probation when she committed the new offense, which means the Court may impose the maximum sentence on the original conviction if it is proven she violated probation. So she had the new criminal charge, plus the allegation she violated her probation.
What we don’t know is whether she plead guilty to the new charge and admitted the probation violation or she went to trial, was found guilty, and found to have violated her probation because of the finding of guilt.
I hope this helps.
Maj229, thank you for the informative answer, it is very helpful.
You’re citing the following Tennessee rule, which is for juveniles in Dependent and Neglect Proceedings:
So that doesn’t apply here.
As best I can tell, the federal rule doesn’t apply here either, because it was a state case, not a federal case.
My question is whether there’s a Tennessee rule requiring a Tahl form for adult pleas in state court.
Any criminal plea in any court in the U.S. requires a knowing and intelligent waiver of the defendants constitutional rights.
My bust for citing the Juv rule of court.
Here’s the adult rule of court. No difference on the substance.
IV. ARRAIGNMENT AND PRETRIAL
RULE 11: PLEAS.
(a) Plea Alternatives.
(1) In General. A defendant may plead not guilty, guilty, or nolo contendere. The court shall enter a plea of not guilty if a defendant refuses to plead or if a defendant corporation, limited liability company, or limited liability partnership fails to appear.
(2) Nolo Contendere. A defendant may plead nolo contendere only with the consent of the court. Before accepting a plea of nolo contendere, the court shall consider the views of the parties and the interest of the public in the effective administration of justice.
(3) Conditional Plea. A defendant may enter a conditional plea of guilty or nolo contendere in accordance with Rule 37(b).
(b) Considering and Accepting a Guilty or Nolo Contendere Plea.
(1) Advising and Questioning the Defendant. Before accepting a guilty or nolo contendere plea, the court shall address the defendant personally in open court and inform the defendant of, and determine that he or she understands, the following:
(A) The nature of the charge to which the plea is offered;
(B) the maximum possible penalty and any mandatory minimum penalty;
(C) if the defendant is not represented by an attorney, the right to be represented by counsel–and if necessary have the court appoint counsel–at trial and every other stage of the proceeding;
(D) the right to plead not guilty or, having already so pleaded, to persist in that plea;
(E) the right to a jury trial;
(F) the right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses;
(G) the right to be protected from compelled self-incrimination;
(H) if the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere, the defendant waives the right to a trial and there will not be a further trial of any kind except as to sentence;
(I) if the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere, the court may ask the defendant questions about the offense to which he or she has pleaded. If the defendant answers these questions under oath, on the record, and in the presence of counsel, the answers may later be used against the defendant in a prosecution for perjury or aggravated perjury;
(J) if the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere, it may have an effect upon the defendant’s immigration or naturalization status, and, if the defendant is represented by counsel, the court shall determine that the defendant has been advised by counsel of the immigration consequences of a plea; and
(K) if the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere to an offense for which he or she will receive an additional sentence of community supervision for life, the fact that he or she will receive the additional sentence, and, if the defendant is represented by counsel, the court shall determine that the defendant has been advised by counsel of the community supervision for life sentence and its consequences.
(2) Insuring That Plea Is Voluntary. Before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the court shall address the defendant personally in open court and determine that the plea is voluntary and is not the result of force, threats, or promises (other than promises in a plea agreement). The court shall also inquire whether the defendant’s willingness to plead guilty or nolo contendere results from prior discussions between the district attorney general and the defendant or the defendant’s attorney.
(3) Determining Factual Basis for Plea. Before entering judgment on a guilty plea, the court shall determine that there is a factual basis for the plea.
(c) Plea Agreement Procedure.
(1) In General. The district attorney general and the defendant’s attorney, or the defendant when acting pro se, may discuss and reach a plea agreement. The court shall not participate in these discussions. If the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a charged offense or a lesser or related offense, the plea agreement may specify that the district attorney general will:
(A) move for dismissal of other charges;
(B) recommend, or agree not to oppose the defendant’s request for, a particular sentence, with the understanding that such recommendation or request is not binding on the court; or
(C) agree that a specific sentence is the appropriate disposition of the case.
(2) Disclosing a Plea Agreement.
(A) Open Court. The parties shall disclose the plea agreement in open court on the record, unless the court for good cause allows the parties to disclose the plea agreement in camera.
(B) Timing of Disclosure. Except for good cause shown, the parties shall notify the court of a plea agreement at the arraignment or at such other time before trial as the court orders.
(3) Judicial Consideration of a Plea Agreement.
(A) Rule 11(c)(1)(A) or (C) Agreement. If the agreement is of the type specified in Rule 11(c) (1)(A) or (C), the court may accept or reject the agreement pursuant to Rule 11(c)(4) or (5), or may defer its decision until it has had an opportunity to consider the presentence report.
(B) Rule 11(c)(1)(B) Agreement. If the agreement is of the type specified in Rule 11(c)(1)(B), the court shall advise the defendant that the defendant has no right to withdraw the plea if the court does not accept the recommendation or request.
(4) Accepting a Plea Agreement. If the court accepts the plea agreement, the court shall advise the defendant that it will embody in the judgment and sentence the disposition provided in the plea agreement.
(5) Rejecting a Plea Agreement. If the court rejects the plea agreement, the court shall do the following on the record and in open court (or, for good cause, in camera):
(A) advise the defendant personally that the court is not bound by the plea agreement;
(B) inform the parties that the court rejects the plea agreement and give the defendant an opportunity to withdraw the plea; and
(C) advise the defendant personally that if the plea is not withdrawn, the court may dispose of the case less favorably toward the defendant than provided in the plea agreement.
(d) Inadmissibility of Pleas, Offers of Pleas, and Related Statements. The admissibility of a plea, plea discussion, or any related statement is governed by Tennessee Rule of Evidence 410.
(e) Record of Proceedings. There shall be a verbatim record of the proceedings at which the defendant enters a plea. If there is a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the record shall include the inquiries and advice to the defendant required under Rule 11(b) and (c). The plea of guilty or nolo contendere shall be reduced to writing and signed by the defendant.
Thanks, but I just read that, and I do not see where it requires the state to inform a defendant that a guilty plea may result in the lifetime loss of the right to vote or many other potential side-effects of a plea.
It makes explicit some things, such as “if the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere, it may have an effect upon the defendant’s immigration or naturalization status, and, if the defendant is represented by counsel, the court shall determine that the defendant has been advised by counsel of the immigration consequences of a plea” and “if the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere to an offense for which he or she will receive an additional sentence of community supervision for life, … the court shall determine that the defendant has been advised by counsel of the community supervision for life sentence and its consequences.”
So those are two examples where the defendant must be advised of these possible side-effects.
But it doesn’t say something like “if the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere to an offense for which he or she will permanently lose the right to vote, the court shall determine that the defendant has been advised by counsel of that permanent loss of voting rights.”
Did I miss something? Instead of quoting the entire rule, can you point out the part of the rule that you believe requires the court to confirm that she was aware that she’d lose her right to vote? Thanks.
There is a section in every waiver and plea form, which is a preprinted court form filled out by the DA which spells out the counts the defendant is pleading to, including punishment, maximum and minimum, including loss of voting rights which is mandated by Tennessee law: Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-20-112 considers infamous crimes to include “any felony” conviction. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-20- 112 (“Upon conviction for any felony, it shall be the judgment of the court that the defendant be infamous and be immediately disqualified from exercising the right of suffrage.”
We don’t have the transcript of the plea taken in court, but every felony plea I’ve been involved in, the felony plea form has a box to check for loss of voting rights.
If we had a blank plea form from Tennessee showing that there’s a section that can be checked that makes the loss of voting rights explicit, that would be sufficient for me. I tried searching for such a form but didn’t find it.
In the meantime, I see that the Tennessee Constitution says “The elections shall be free and equal, and the right of suffrage, as hereinafter declared, shall never be denied to any person entitled thereto, except upon conviction by a jury of some infamous crime, previously ascertained and declared by law, and judgment thereon by court of competent jurisdiction.”
“Conviction by a jury” seems pretty specific to me. I would think that if they intended to include someone choosing to plead guilty without a trial, that would be addressed. But I’m not a lawyer.
Actually the Tennessee Constitution section reads, “ Text of Section 2:
Laws may be passed excluding from the right of suffrage persons who may be convicted of infamous crimes.” The section doesn’t use the word “shall,” and place the decision with the legislature by saying “…Laws may be passed excluding,…” The legislature did that, and also provided for the means for courts to set aside the loss of voting rights by felony convictions under certain conditions. There is a form for that.
The Tennessee Constitution says what you just quoted and it ALSO says what I quoted:
https://codes.findlaw.com/tn/tennessee-constitution/tn-const-art-i-sect-5.html (or if you prefer: https://www.capitol.tn.gov/about/docs/tn-constitution.pdf)
We cannot ignore the section that I quoted — “the right of suffrage, as hereinafter declared, shall never be denied to any person entitled thereto, except upon conviction by a jury of some infamous crime …” — simply because it also allows the legislature to pass laws about this. Shall *never* be denied except upon conviction by a jury is pretty specific.
My apologies, I see that you answered my question in your previous email.
It makes sense that the six year sentence is due the the previous suspended sentence being reinstated as opposed to being for false voter registration.
Ray – No problem. Good question.
Pleading guilty is never made without a waiver of Constitutional rights by the defendant.
Here’s the Federal Rule:
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure › TITLE IV. ARRAIGNMENT AND PREPARATION FOR TRIAL › Rule 11. Pleas
Rule 11. Pleas
(a) Entering a Plea.
(1) In General. A defendant may plead not guilty, guilty, or (with the court’s consent) nolo contendere.
(2) Conditional Plea. With the consent of the court and the government, a defendant may enter a conditional plea of guilty or nolo contendere, reserving in writing the right to have an appellate court review an adverse determination of a specified pretrial motion. A defendant who prevails on appeal may then withdraw the plea.
(3) Nolo Contendere Plea. Before accepting a plea of nolo contendere, the court must consider the parties’ views and the public interest in the effective administration of justice.
(4) Failure to Enter a Plea. If a defendant refuses to enter a plea or if a defendant organization fails to appear, the court must enter a plea of not guilty.
(b) Considering and Accepting a Guilty or Nolo Contendere Plea.
(1) Advising and Questioning the Defendant. Before the court accepts a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the defendant may be placed under oath, and the court must address the defendant personally in open court. During this address, the court must inform the defendant of, and determine that the defendant understands, the following:
(A) the government’s right, in a prosecution for perjury or false statement, to use against the defendant any statement that the defendant gives under oath;
(B) the right to plead not guilty, or having already so pleaded, to persist in that plea;
(C) the right to a jury trial;
(D) the right to be represented by counsel—and if necessary have the court appoint counsel—at trial and at every other stage of the proceeding;
(E) the right at trial to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses, to be protected from compelled self-incrimination, to testify and present evidence, and to compel the attendance of witnesses;
(F) the defendant’s waiver of these trial rights if the court accepts a plea of guilty or nolo contendere;
(G) the nature of each charge to which the defendant is pleading;
(H) any maximum possible penalty, including imprisonment, fine, and term of supervised release;
(I) any mandatory minimum penalty;
(J) any applicable forfeiture;
(K) the court’s authority to order restitution;
(L) the court’s obligation to impose a special assessment;
(M) in determining a sentence, the court’s obligation to calculate the applicable sentencing-guideline range and to consider that range, possible departures under the Sentencing Guidelines, and other sentencing factors under 18 U.S.C. §3553(a);
(N) the terms of any plea-agreement provision waiving the right to appeal or to collaterally attack the sentence; and
(O) that, if convicted, a defendant who is not a United States citizen may be removed from the United States, denied citizenship, and denied admission to the United States in the future.
(2) Ensuring That a Plea Is Voluntary. Before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the court must address the defendant personally in open court and determine that the plea is voluntary and did not result from force, threats, or promises (other than promises in a plea agreement).
(3) Determining the Factual Basis for a Plea. Before entering judgment on a guilty plea, the court must determine that there is a factual basis for the plea.
(c) Plea Agreement Procedure.
(1) In General. An attorney for the government and the defendant’s attorney, or the defendant when proceeding pro se, may discuss and reach a plea agreement. The court must not participate in these discussions. If the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere to either a charged offense or a lesser or related offense, the plea agreement may specify that an attorney for the government will:
(A) not bring, or will move to dismiss, other charges;
(B) recommend, or agree not to oppose the defendant’s request, that a particular sentence or sentencing range is appropriate or that a particular provision of the Sentencing Guidelines, or policy statement, or sentencing factor does or does not apply (such a recommendation or request does not bind the court); or
(C) agree that a specific sentence or sentencing range is the appropriate disposition of the case, or that a particular provision of the Sentencing Guidelines, or policy statement, or sentencing factor does or does not apply (such a recommendation or request binds the court once the court accepts the plea agreement).
(2) Disclosing a Plea Agreement. The parties must disclose the plea agreement in open court when the plea is offered, unless the court for good cause allows the parties to disclose the plea agreement in camera.
(3) Judicial Consideration of a Plea Agreement.
(A) To the extent the plea agreement is of the type specified in Rule 11(c)(1)(A) or (C), the court may accept the agreement, reject it, or defer a decision until the court has reviewed the presentence report.
(B) To the extent the plea agreement is of the type specified in Rule 11(c)(1)(B), the court must advise the defendant that the defendant has no right to withdraw the plea if the court does not follow the recommendation or request.
(4) Accepting a Plea Agreement. If the court accepts the plea agreement, it must inform the defendant that to the extent the plea agreement is of the type specified in Rule 11(c)(1)(A) or (C), the agreed disposition will be included in the judgment.
(5) Rejecting a Plea Agreement. If the court rejects a plea agreement containing provisions of the type specified in Rule 11(c)(1)(A) or (C), the court must do the following on the record and in open court (or, for good cause, in camera):
(A) inform the parties that the court rejects the plea agreement;
(B) advise the defendant personally that the court is not required to follow the plea agreement and give the defendant an opportunity to withdraw the plea; and
(C) advise the defendant personally that if the plea is not withdrawn, the court may dispose of the case less favorably toward the defendant than the plea agreement contemplated.
(d) Withdrawing a Guilty or Nolo Contendere Plea. A defendant may withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere:
(1) before the court accepts the plea, for any reason or no reason; or
(2) after the court accepts the plea, but before it imposes sentence if:
(A) the court rejects a plea agreement under 11(c)(5); or
(B) the defendant can show a fair and just reason for requesting the withdrawal.
(e) Finality of a Guilty or Nolo Contendere Plea. After the court imposes sentence, the defendant may not withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, and the plea may be set aside only on direct appeal or collateral attack.
(f) Admissibility or Inadmissibility of a Plea, Plea Discussions, and Related Statements. The admissibility or inadmissibility of a plea, a plea discussion, and any related statement is governed by Federal Rule of Evidence 410.
(g) Recording the Proceedings. The proceedings during which the defendant enters a plea must be recorded by a court reporter or by a suitable recording device. If there is a guilty plea or a nolo contendere plea, the record must include the inquiries and advice to the defendant required under Rule 11(b) and (c).
(h) Harmless Error. A variance from the requirements of this rule is harmless error if it does not affect substantial rights.
“Pleading guilty is never made without a waiver of Constitutional rights by the defendant.”
I would hesitate to say “never” if I were you. The court system is full of cases where despite rules, the steps weren’t followed. Despite Miranda, people aren’t read their rights, people are illegally denied lawyers, false arrests are made.
Overwhelmed lawyers don’t always review everything with their clients. The whole appeal process exists to correct mistakes. Judges make errors all the time. Defendants make pleas without going to court. I wouldn’t say anything “never” happens.
It’s my opinion that no one should lose their right to vote unless they are convicted of voter fraud or some other serious election-related crime.
An article with more details about what occurred with Ms. Moses and how common this mistake is in Tennessee: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/feb/03/fight-to-vote-tennessee-pamela-moses-convicted
Such errors are actually fairly common in Tennessee, where the voting rules are extremely confusing for people with felonies, Blair Bowie, an attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, told me. A 2017 study found that about 8% of the certificates submitted were rejected because the voters remained ineligible. Bowie said she was unaware of any voter in the state ever facing criminal charges for submitting a certificate but later turning out to be ineligible to vote.
“You tricked the probation department into giving you documents saying you were off probation,” the judge sentencing her said last week.
“That seems absurd to me on its face,” said Bowie, who is involved in a challenge to Tennessee’s process for restoring voting rights. “The instructions on the certificate of restoration form are very clear to the probation officer or the clerk. They say you will check these records and you will sign off on this based on what the records say. “They’re saying that she tricked the probation officer into filling out this form for her. That creates a really scary prospect for people who think they’re being wrongly told they’re not eligible.”
Enigma has already pointed out the sentencing disparity with others recently convicted of voter fraud, where they received light sentences for knowingly applying for a ballot for a deceased spouse.
Lots of people make mistakes with their voter registration. Recall that in 2019, Donald Trump mistakenly put his WH address on his application. On September 27, 2019, “On one of his forms that day he was telling Florida officials that his “legal residence” was Washington, D.C., and on another he was saying he was a “bona fide resident” of Palm Beach” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/president-trump-tried-to-register-to-vote-in-florida-using-an-out-of-state-address/2020/06/03/687d0014-a4f2-11ea-b473-04905b1af82b_story.html). It is a particularly stupid on his part, since it would not be legal to vote in FL if your legal residence is in DC. At the same time, he was touting on the WH website that others in FL had been prosecuted for this same mistake: twitter.com/American_Bridge/status/1268257730806132738
Of course, Trump was not prosecuted for his error, even though he technically broke the law in FL.
These sentencing disparities are shameful.
Anonymous, it is interesting that the state IS responsible for making sure she was indeed eligible to register. She’s being punished for something the state is responsible for, not Moses. She did everything she was legally required to do and the state didn’t. Hopefully the sentence will be overturned or dismissed.
No jail or consequences for the BLM people that inspired and took an active part in the mayhem, rioting,murder in our cities after the unwarranted killing of a drug dealer with a long felony record in Minneapolis. ?
You know, if you wanted to learn about people who’d been sentenced for crimes committed during the Floyd protests, you could look it up.
Here are two of the many results that came up when I searched for that online:
“An Associated Press review of court documents in more than 300 federal cases stemming from the protests sparked by George Floyd’s death last year shows that dozens of people charged have been convicted of serious crimes and sent to prison.”
My guess: you don’t actually want to know. You want to be able to pretend that there were no consequences and whine about your false belief.
Anonymous, I read your AP link. When I got to the part when the AP reporter said that the George Floyd protests were mostly peaceful protests I checked out. We all saw the footage of Arson and looting. We saw the billions of dollars in property damage. 25 People died due to rioting. Where are the convictions for murder? The January 6 people who were arrested were kept in prison for months without being charged while the rioters in Seattle were out on bail made good by Kamala Harris. You say that some of us just don’t want to know about the people sentenced in Seattle but it’s obvious that you just don’t want to know about the January 6 rioters who were not permitted to have their right to a speedy trial. The link you provided even says that some received a slap on the wrist. In the link it is stated that some were charged with more serious offenses but instead of telling us what their punishment was the article uses an average time of conviction. The writer could have dug deeper into the individual court records and the severity of the sentences but he didn’t because just like you he just didn’t want to know.
I don’t care whether you “checked out.”
seanraleigh8030 falsely claimed “No jail or consequences for the BLM people that inspired and took an active part in the mayhem, rioting,murder in our cities.”
I provided evidence that it’s false.
As for your question, I suggest that you look it up for yourself. Are you unable to find information, or just too lazy?
“The January 6 people who were arrested were kept in prison for months without being charged”
That’s total BS. Most of the Jan. 6 people who’ve been indicted have not been in prison, and every single one who has been in prison was arrested AFTER being charged and is in prison because a judge decided that. You can read many of the relevant legal documents here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/capitol-breach-cases, and you can look up the individual case dockets for additional documents.
“you just don’t want to know about the January 6 rioters who were not permitted to have their right to a speedy trial.”
Their cases are actually being tried faster on average than a lot of people’s cases. Glad to know that you believe many, many people in the US are being denied the right to a speedy trial. Unless, of course, you don’t care about the speed of trials for anyone else.
Oh boy, this one is really going to bring out the worst from the cult today.
“Moses pleaded guilty in 2015 to felonies including tampering with evidence and forgery, as well as misdemeanor charges of perjury, stalking, theft under $500, and escape. The tampering charge was the barrier for voting eligibility because she was serving seven years of probation.
So she’s a fraud, a forger, an obstructor of justice, a proven liar, a thief,a stalker and not to be trusted. Why that’s a perfect BLM activist and, of course, a Democratic voter. No wonder the Dims around here think she’s been “done wrong” and ought to be deciding on the country’s most important questions. The Crime Party needs followers!
Very Oscar Wilde there, Aninny.
Great update. Thanks.
Did they also sentence the Judge who rigged the outcome of the illegal votes complaint to make it into something else? No justice until the Government can judge their own first.
Excessive yes, why I don’t know. Wait till the release of “2000 Mule’s”, maybe she’ll have company? Doubtful though.
And how about releasing the 1/6 people on bail?
Most of the people indicted for Jan. 6 crimes have not been in jail pending trial.
My opinion: bail should be eliminated. If the person is too dangerous to release or too great a flight risk or has broken the terms of pretrial release, then no bail should be granted (this is already a decision that judges make and is the case for a few of the Jan. 6 defendants). If the person is not dangerous, not a flight risk, and is obeying the terms of their release, then they shouldn’t be charged bail, as there’s no evidence that it’s needed (most people show up for trial simply because it’s legally required) and the inability to pay bail means that poor people who haven’t been convicted are jailed pending trial.
Glaring example of flawed justice. Thanks for being willing to venture into half of what this case is about, Turley. Thanks to Jeff and Enigma for filling in the rest.
Anyone caught involved in voter fraud, ANYONE, needs a strong punishment. As much as I abor the BLM movement and am appalled by this woman’s criminal behavior six years is much too strong and just wrong.
Once again, we see the two standards of justice in America.
Ms Moses is unprotected – poor, black, despicable, and hard to defend.
Justice systems need to treat the unprotected exactly the same way they treat the protected.
Tennessee (and particularly this judge) failed.
And for those commentators cheering, how can you complain about the treatment of the 1/6 prisoners and not see the similarities to Ms Moses.
I agree. The 1/6 rioters are getting a much lighter sentence in comparison.
She’s had due process, 01/06 political prisoners have not.
They are not “political prisoners.” They’ve been indicted for crimes, most aren’t in jail pending trial, they all have lawyers (either that they’ve chosen for themselves or public defenders), …
You don’t name a single thing to substantiate your claim that they don’t have due process.
We’ve been over this numerous times before, but your alt/right media keep harping that the Jan. 6th insurrectionists are “political prisoners”, and those who were not released on bail are somehow being held prisoner at the whim of Democrats or Nancy Pelosi. The Jan. 6th insurrectionists have been charged with various crimes. Whether they qualify for bail is up to the judge before whom their case is filed, not Nancy Pelosi or the Democrat Party. The judge decides whether the arrestee qualifies for bail, and if so, sets the amount, which is calculated to ensure that the arrestee appears for trial, and which is based on factors such as: past criminal history, prior history of flight/failure to appear, ties to the community, employment, if they were on parole or probation when the invaded the Capitol, and other factors. THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PRETRIAL BAIL. The Constitution merely states that if bail is set, it must be reasonable in amount. Several of those Jan 6th insurrectionists have extensive criminal records, history of failure to appear and other factors that serve as the reason for being remanded to custody while awaiting trial. It is wrong for alt/right media to encourage disrespect for the law by painting the insurrectionists as patriots, and by politicizing the bail process, especially when they lie about Democrats and Nancy Pelosi as the drivers of the decision whether to grant bail. It is outrageously immoral for the Republican Party to paint the Jan 6th insurrection as ” legitimate political discourse”. The American people saw Jan 6th for what it was: an effort to prevent the results of the Electoral College from being accepted by Congress using force and violence, all based on Trump’s Big Lie.
Pelosi is running a Stalinist show trial and people can see for themselves what’s going on.
Any committee with known liar Adam Schiff and ‘what’s his name who slept with the CCP spy’ is de facto corrupt on it’s face — or whatever words you want to use. It’s bullsh*t and people can smell it.
Average citizens are being labeled ‘political/domestic enemies’ are being persecuted by Pelosi, et al. It’s un-American. It’s disgusting. And they will not get away with it.
She had her due process and the outcome she can appeal. Per “poor, black, despicable, and hard to defend”, it is now a protected class who, as a whole, get the better end of “the two standards of justice in America.” Why just last week DOJ argued murderer and arsonist it prosecuted deserves a much lighter sentence than called for because he was in a state of protest against the tyranny of the police.
“ And for those commentators cheering, how can you complain about the treatment of the 1/6 prisoners and not see the similarities to Ms Moses.
There’s an important distinction between the two. Most 1/6 rioters filmed themselves committing a crime. Moses was subjected to a mistake from the state. Technically she did everything legally according to the state. Until the state realized THEY messed up, but she got punished severely because a judge is assuming she intentionally misled the state without proof. Moses was, according to the state for a short time, legally allowed to register. It was the state’s responsibility to determine if she was legally allowed to register. They didn’t do their due diligence.
You and I often disagree. I’m glad to agree with you this time.
I really don’t understand the justice system sometimes. People get lesser sentences for armed robbery, don’t they?
Election integrity is vital for the survival of the nation. It is a mortal threat. Instead of criticism over the penalty I want to see more penalties for voter fraud prosecuted and sentence aggressively.
Dismissing as non violent is dismissing the seriousness when the people don’t have faith in our elections from Al Gore to Donald Trump and some in between along with their supporters.
It’s nice to see a lefty FINALLY getting punished for doing typical lefty misdeeds after the utterly despicable treatment of the 1/6 folks and the the lack of law enforcement for all the rioting, looting, murder and destruction in 2020 + 2021
There are three Republicans I’m aware of who voted twice by using the ballots for their dead wives. They received probation, probation, and three days. They were obviously aware of their voting fraud, what do you imagine was the reason for the sentencing differential?
Enigma: Google “party mom bail.” It will lead you to multiple news articles about the rich, white “party mom” in CA who is being held without bail. Her offense? She wanted to be the “cool mom” to her high-school son and hosted parties for his friends where she allowed drinking and sex among 16 and 17 y/o high school students. While what she did is clearly wrong, the judge claiming that she is a danger to the community and must be held without bail is absurd. A man in Texas who recently murdered a cop was granted bail, and a young man in L.A. who stabbed his girlfriend 22 times and killed her was also granted bail. Both of these males were minorities. I agree that 6 years is excessive for illegal voting, but I suspect that it was her entire record that was taken into account. In CA, which has a three-strikes law for felonies, she would be looking at life in prison, not six years. There has been much criticism of sentencing guidelines and “mandatory minimums” that take away a judge’s discretion. But the flip side of that is judges having too much latitude, resulting in huge and inexplicable sentencing disparities which leave the public cynical about the justice system.
You aren’t making an apples to apples comparison. I do think “party mom” was a danger to the community though she probably could have received bail. How much was the bail in the two cases you cited? $500, $5 million, or somewhere in between.
There is evidence in the record the woman had reason to believe it was okay to vote and she gets 6 yrs. The men that voted for their dead spouses were absolutely guilty and they got off. I think those voting cases are a better comparison.
If she was a Republican, she’d be getting a medal! I wonder why. Could it be that she’s black. Of course it is.
Quit whining you race-mongering wimp!
She has a long record of crimes, based on your article, this last charge was the icing on the cake for the judge, to throw the book at her. Also, perhaps make an example. Added to her issues she is a BLM activist and BLM is not a clean orginization.
You accidentally said the quiet part out loud. Suppose we started convicting people for being Young Republicans?
Thats been going on for years on college campuses
I’m sure that sounded good to you but do you have a single example?
Are you naive or just plain stupid? I bet that you have led your entire life in denial.
One person ever convicted for being a Young Republican? That’s what giving an example would look like.
Enigma: what a silly comment. First, she was not convicted for being a member of BLM, -nor did 234currency say/imply that. Second, your poor analogy should more correctly have asked if anyone would convict someone for being a Young Democrat.-But you knew that would not bring affirmative responses, so you changed your analogy to be more provocative. It didn’t work..Third, I am sure that her sentence was enhanced because of her prior record, so comparing it to those who only received probation is silly-I would suggest that you know NOTHING about the prior records of those persons. Fourth, although the sentence does seem excessive, she obviously did not understand the consequences of violating probation–something judges do not take lightly–it tells judges that the offender has not learned his/her lesson yet..So I agree that she may have been made an example. I am sympathetic to her only because it appears (at least from the information in the blog) that, this time around, she was acting alone in support of her own vote.
But It is YOU who is saying the quiet part out loud: that you see everything through black-colored lenses. Just relax. Contribute something meaningful. You have made some good arguments in the past, but this is not one of them.
Enigma: p.s., and Ray in SC just added something I did not know: that she had previously voted illegally SIX TIMES after being convicted, which the current judge cited.
Lin, the convictions for voting illegally don’t bar her permanently from voting according to Tennessee law. It was the tampering felony that triggered her permanent non voting status.
The judge just cited the convictions, but didn’t specify how she “tricked” the probation officer. Only the officer is allowed to fill in the voting restoration application and the officer IS responsible for determining of Moses was indeed allowed to register.
Svelaz: Please go back and reread what I said, to wit: “Third, I am sure her sentencing was enhanced because of her prior record…” Moreover, you falsely and misleadingly defended something I never mentioned, “permanent bar.” But that’s OK, no harm done (as usual) because you probably never read Tennessee Code 40-29-204, which appears to permanently bar those convicted of voter fraud from registering and voting…
She asked if she had fulfilled the requirements to be eligible to vote. She received written confirmation she was good. She got a harsher sentence than some people get for murder. What did she do wrong, let alone do to require a sentence that harsh when white people who knew they were wrong got probation? If it wasn’t about race and her affiliation with BLM, what was it?
“BLM is not a clean organization” is easily the understatement of the year!
Did a search for “Pamela Moses” on FoxNews.com and got nothing.
No surprise there.
You didn’t look very hard. https://www.foxnews.com/us/black-lives-matter-memphis-chapter-founder-sentenced-illegally-registering-to-vote
Ok. What did you search? Maybe I did not look far enough down thx list of results. I stand corrected
Really? You previously told us that you stay on top of Fox reporting all the time, to see “what the other side” was saying…
Actually, I watch only Fox’s 3 hours of prime time- Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham. Not the website
Jeff, it’s really easy to find Fox reporting about this, for example, by Googling Pamela Moses Fox News. You can also do a domain-specific search of foxnews.com.
I used the search bar in Foxnews.com, and all the hits were “Pamela Anderson”!
FWIW, in my experience Google does a better job of indexing the text on a website than the site itself does, so a Google search is more likely to turn up relevant results.
Thanks, I’ll do that. I hate to make mistakes.
you are incorrect. It has been reported on Fox News First – and I have faith that this will be overturned by a higher court.
“Why did Tennessee’s Pamela Moses receive a six-year prison sentence?”
Thank you for reporting a story featured on MSNBC!
Maddow’s blog reports that Moses’ only crime was attempting to register to vote.
“But when Moses tried to register to vote — not cast a ballot, just register — she was criminally charged. This week, she received a six-year prison sentence.”
However, Newsweek quotes the judge as stating that she had voted illegally six times since 2015.
“You tricked the probation department into giving you documents saying you were off probation,” [Judge] Ward said last week. “After you were convicted of a felony in 2015, you voted six times as a convicted felon.”
Thank You Ray in SC. (I am curious as to why the professor would have left that out, since he ws directly quoting the judge’s statement…?)
Ain’t no place I wanna be!
God don’t you carry me!
Back to Tennessee!”
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