Prosecutorial Misconduct Exposed in Shelby County District Attorney’s Office
On March 4, 2016, Pamela Moses was released from the Shelby County Jail. Judge J. W. McCraw presided over the Petition for Probation Revocation hearing, led by Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Nicholas. Nicholas demanded Moses be kept in jail for alleged probation violations, on the wrongful convictions that are presently before the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Jackson, TN. Attorney Josie Holland has submitted a 76-page brief delineating the injustice and vindictive prosecution suffered by Moses. The State of Tennessee has not yet responded to the Ms. Holland’s Appellant Brief on the Motion to Withdraw the coerced guilty plea.
From January 22, 2015, Moses was held on a $500,000.00 bail for non-violent offenses stemming from a Facebook Page, “Bring Civil Rights Charges Against Phyllis Gardner.” Four hours of testimony from eight state witnesses later, mostly law enforcement and county employees, the court concluded Moses had technically violated the terms of her probation because she had re-scheduled her reporting appointment times. Although pre-approved by her probation officer, the changes violated the special conditions of her probation. Moses called only one witness, a private citizen, who testified that a Shelby County Sheriff Officer illegally detained Moses in a public building and demanded to escort her.
On December 17, 2015, Moses filed a civil rights, class action lawsuit in the U. S. District Court against District Attorney Amy Weirich. Although probation violations are ordinarily initiated by the Board of Probation, three days later the D.A.’s Office did so. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is also named as a defendant in Moses’ lawsuit for its role.
Inadvertently, the video shown by D.A. Nicholas corroborated Moses’ claims of ongoing harassing whenever she enters public buildings. James Thomas, attorney for Moses, argued Moses’ U.S. Constitutional rights had been violated because she had not been given due process in regard to the “secret list” generated by the Shelby County Attorney’s Office requiring Moses to have an escort in public buildings. Moses has a right to access the courts, and the assertions were irrelevant to her alleged probation violations. Such actions were another vindictive retaliatory maneuver to thwart Moses’ lawsuit. Judge McCraw ruled Moses appearing in a public building, absent an escort is not a violation of her probation conditions.
Nicholas, who previously worked closely with Phyllis Gardner when Gardner was a District Attorney, alluded that Moses’ probation should be violated because D. A. Bryce Phillips earlier recommended that Moses be mentally evaluated. Judge Gardner was not satisfied with six prior assessments which determined Moses to be intelligent, sane, and competent. Despite Judge McCraw agreeing to reinstate Moses’ probation for the technical violation, Nicholas opposed Moses’ release on the day of the hearing, February 25, 2016 for yet another mental evaluation to which Moses agreed. She was seen and cleared by the jail psychiatrist.
Judge McCraw signed an order to release Moses. Moses stated, “I am only guilty of speaking truth to power. Their stall tactics to delay justice is indicative of an oppressive system in need of transformation. I’m not afraid to voice my opinions publicly. It is unfortunate the prosecutors charged with protecting our community seek such desperate measures to discredit one citizen to cover up their illegal actions. I just keep my mind on Jesus and thank Him for His Grace and Mercy. I remind myself daily that we live in the same city which viewed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs as radical. People seeking to rid Memphis of injustice are considered a bigger threat than murderers. We have had over 30 murders since January 1st, but I am being persecuted?? Such dedication more appropriately should be put into Darrius Stewart’s case. They are afraid of the inevitable change that is coming. Was it merely coincidental I was confined during all of Black History month? I must love and pray for my enemies even though they are working overtime on tax dollars to damage my credibility. Contrary to unpopular belief, BLACK LIVES SHOULD MATTER.”
Judge Chris Craft admitted on record he had issued illegal warrants for Moses’ arrest without proper authority or jurisdiction due to the District Attorney’s Office misrepresentation that an interchange had been requested. The prosecutor failed to inform Judge Craft there is a standing order from the Tennessee Supreme Court, which requires all of Moses’ matters to be heard by a specially appointed judge.
District Attorney Amy Weirich is currently under investigation for prosecutorial misconduct in unrelated matters. Moses stated, “With the ongoing abusive pattern of prosecutorial misconduct the good citizens of Shelby County should demand Weirich resign from office. The public trust has been violated and with all of the murders in the city, it speaks volumes to the current administration’s priorities. Closing down an entire Criminal Court docket for 4 ½ hours, assigning two prosecutors to carry out this witch hunt, and subpoenaing eight county employees to devote hours to little ol’ me is a waste of manpower and a waste of county funds. These unwarranted retaliatory actions are placing the city in more danger because this is not being done to deter crime. It is flat out personal and not for the best interest of our city.”
Moses, a founder of the Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter, is organizing, employing proven grassroots tactics of providing social awareness, promoting Black Liberation to fight corruption and all injustices and moving forward with proposed legislation to restore convicted felons rights and planning voter registration drives to reclaim the unheard voices of Black Memphians. She is also working on her book, which gives a blow by blow depiction of the decades of corruption and conspiracies in Memphis, “Moses vs. Memphis” will be published Spring 2017 and said “It’s Gonna be a John Grisham meets Tupac experience.”