There are many people that commit crimes – both large and small; then there are those who are wrongfully accused. Inside are women – Mocha women – who have been tried, convicted, and released from prison. For some, the release of these women meant the families of those who seek justice hurt once more but the family members of the wrongly accused rejoice in the freedom with their loved ones.
Mary Virginia Jones , a 74-year-old woman was released from Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood after her conviction in a 1981 murder was set aside and her sentence was reduced
Jones was convicted of first-degree murder without the possibility of parole until law students at USC’s Post-Conviction Justice Project intervened and had her case reopened.
In the 1981 crime, Jones was held at gunpoint and ordered to drive two kidnapped men to an alley where they were later shot, the release stated. One of the men died as a result of his injuries, Gilien Silsby of USC Gould School of Law said.
Marissa Alexander, 34, was initially sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2012 for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband but her conviction was later overturned. She faced another trial on charges that could have put her behind bars for 60 years before she agreed to a plea deal.
Alexander pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault for firing a shot in the direction of her husband, Rico Gray, during a 2010 argument while two of his children were also in the house.
She also agreed to serve two years of house arrest, wearing an ankle monitor. She will be allowed to work, attend classes and take her children to school and medical appointments.
An activist named, 30-year-old Brittany “Bree” Newsome of Raleigh briefly removed the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State House early Saturday morning. She can be heard saying, “You come against me in the name of hatred, repression, and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.”
Newsome was charged with defacing a monument and taken to the Richland County Jail. The charge is a misdemeanor, and is punishable by a fine or a maximum jail time of three years.
Minnesota trans woman CeCe McDonald, imprisoned for second-degree manslaughter in what some activists believe was a case of self-defense, will be released January 13, just 19 months into her 41-month sentence. McDonald reached an agreement with prosecutors wherein she would plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of Dean Schmitz on the night of June 5, 2011. A month later, she was sentenced to 41 months in prison.
McDonald and four of her friends were walking to a grocery store in Minneapolis during the early morning hours of June 5, 2011, when they were confronted by a group of white people, one of whom was Schmitz, outside the Schooner Tavern. Schmitz’s group began shouting racist and transphobic slurs at McDonald’s party, with events eventually escalating to a physical altercation that left McDonald injured and Schmitz dead of a stab wound to the chest.
Paula Cooper, an Indiana woman who was sentenced to die at age 16 for the brutal murder of an elderly Bible school teacher was released from prison after 28 years behind bars.
Cooper was 16 when she was sentenced to death in 1986 after confessing to her role in the murder of a 78-year-old Gary Bible studies teacher the year before. Cooper admitted stabbing 78-year-old Ruth Pelke 33 times with a 12-inch butcher knife in a robbery that netted four youths $10 and an old car. Cooper was 15 at the time the crime was committed.
An Indiana woman who was once the nation’s youngest person on death row but whose sentence was eventually commuted to a prison term was found dead in Indianapolis