Demonstrators plan to gather outside the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board Monday to demand the release of Tondalo Hall. Hall is serving a 30-year sentence for failing to protect her children from Robert Braxton, who received a two-year sentence for breaking the ribs and femur of their 3-month-old daughter.
Hall's decades-long punishment came despite allegations that Braxton had been violently abusing her as well as her daughter. Hall made statements to authorities in and out of court describing Braxton choking her, punching her, throwing things at her, and verbally assaulting her. A BuzzFeed News investigation found that Hall is one of at least 28 mothers in 11 states who has been sentenced to 10 years or more in prison for failing to protect their children from their violent partners, despite evidence the mothers themselves were violently abused.
Hall recently submitted an application for clemency from the pardon and parole board. A women's rights organization, UltraViolet, took up Hall's cause in the wake of the investigation, circulating a petition demanding that the board set her free. Now, the group is organizing Monday's protest. Demonstrators will gather outside the Kate Barnard Community Corrections Center in Oklahoma City, where the board will be holding its monthly meeting, at noon.
"Women are fed up with courts that fail domestic abuse survivors and women of color," said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, in a written statement. "Tondalo Hall's sentence is nothing short of cruel and unusual punishment, and that's why we are doubling down on the parole board to set Tondalo free and reunite her with her daughter. "
The board has yet to indicate when it will take up Hall's case.
Alex Campbell is the deputy UK investigations editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London. His secure PGP fingerprint is C99D 2577 74B1 8DF0 6E90 3CD7 DFF4 C0F2 2492
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