A Tennessee activist who received a six-year prison sentence for trying to register to vote while on felony probation is believed to be the first person to sue prosecutors after her case was thrown out, per the Guardian. Pamela Moses, convicted of illegal voter registration in November, was incarcerated for 82 days before it was revealed that prosecutors—who claimed Moses had tricked a probation officer into issuing a certificate that wrongly stated her probation was complete—had failed to disclose the Tennessee Department of Correction's finding that the probation officer had made an honest mistake. Moses maintains she didn't know she was ineligible to vote when she tried to register and argues she was punished for the errors of the state.
The Shelby County District Attorney's Office knew the "certificate of restoration of voting rights was a result of the Shelby County Election Commission's mistake," reads the lawsuit filed in federal court, which names the state, current District Attorney Steve Mulroy, and former District Attorney Amy Weirich, per the Commercial Appeal. "As a result, Plaintiff was wrongfully convicted, and her life was placed on pause while she fought to prove she had no involvement in the mistakes." Though the district attorney's office dropped charges against Moses in April after a new trial was ordered, she nonetheless "suffered mental anguish, emotional distress, stress, anxiety, embarrassment, humiliation, and demoralization," according to the suit, which seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (Read more wrongful conviction stories.)