|The fight for freedom rest at the hands of Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin. Tondalo Hall got 30 years in the iron college for allowing child abuse in her home. Her ex-boyfriend managed to get two years. Some are calling foul.|
A woman gets 30 years in the iron college. She got the short end of a huge stick. The state of Oklahoma determined that she was liable for living her child in the hands of a monster. She was sentenced to the iron college for 15 years. She went to appeal her case, but ended up getting more time added on.
The monster abused the child but ended up getting only two years in the iron college.
The woman ends up being denied parole. She got a handful of add-ons. Those add-ons will keep her in the iron college for up to 15 more years.
Black Lives Matter managed to bring this to attention and it's getting some national exposure.
Tondalo Hall was sent to the iron college along with her boyfriend at the time Robert Braxton Jr.
Braxton was the father of Tondalo's daughter. He would be extremely abusive to their child.
The Oklahoman (NewsOk) reports that Braxton admitted to breaking the leg, ribs and toe of his 3-month-old daughter, didn’t go to prison. In a plea agreement made during his criminal trial, he received a sentence of two years, which he had already spent in jail awaiting trial. He was released.
In her commutation application, and in testimony at Braxton’s trial, Hall described physical violence she suffered at the hands of Braxton while they were living together. Hall’s supporters say her sentence unfairly punishes a domestic violence survivor more harshly than her abuser.
|Supporters want Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin to grant clemency to Tondalo Hall.|
Both her appeal and her request to have the state Supreme Court review her case were denied. Because permitting child abuse is a so-called 85 percent crime — meaning she must serve at least 85 percent of her sentence — the earliest she would eligible for release is 2030, assuming she receives early release credits and is paroled.
Her actual sentence ends in 2034 — when she’ll be 50 years old and her daughter, who was an infant when Hall was arrested, will be 30.
At Hall’s Dec. 20, 2006, sentencing, Angela Marsee, then a prosecutor for the Oklahoma District Attorney’s Office, told the judge that Hall should spend a significant portion of her life in prison. Two months earlier, Hall had entered a blind plea, meaning she pleaded guilty without the promise of a certain sentence. Just a few weeks earlier, Braxton’s case was resolved through a plea agreement on the fourth day of his trial.
|Robert Braxton, Jr.|
“Her testimony at the trial ... was the biggest factor into the sentence he got,” Marsee said. “She was the caretaker and the mother of these children. She was the one person in the position at the trial to make sure justice was served.”
At sentencing, Marsee told the judge she thought Hall was continuing to minimize what she saw or knew about her children being abused.
But Hall described how Braxton was continuing to harass her. He wrote her letters while they were both in the Oklahoma County jail and acted “mad” that she was going to testify at his trial, Hall testified. And even the judge — Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott — admitted Hall seemed scared of Braxton. He said he factored that into her sentence, according to court transcripts.
When Hall met Braxton, she was a teenage mother who had dropped out of school in the 10th grade. She had been adopted as a baby and raised by loving parents. But her adoptive mother had died and her father was ill prepared to support a teen mom, court records show.
Hall and Braxton moved in together in 2004, and they had two children together.
At Braxton’s trial, Hall began describing how Braxton once strangled her on the couch of their apartment because he said she had a “smart mouth.” In her commutation application, she said Braxton regularly choked her, blackened her eyes, threw objects at her and verbally assaulted her in front of her children.
“I did not escape the relationship out of fear that Robert would file for custody of our children and I would never be allowed to see them again. This fear came from his repeated statements that if I ever left him, he would take our children and I would never see them,” Hall wrote.
Sometime in early November 2004, she noticed her toddler’s leg was swollen. She called her pediatrician’s office and they told her to put ice on it. She did. She also questioned Braxton about what could have happened to the boy, and Braxton denied knowing anything, Hall testified at her trial.
After a couple of days, during which the boy whined and had trouble using the leg, she took him to the hospital, where it was determined the boy had a broken femur and broken ribs. Braxton and Hall were arrested, and investigators determined their youngest child, who was 3 months old, had similar injuries.
When questioned, Hall originally told investigators she squeezed the boy’s ribs and threw him onto a bed. But she later admitted that wasn’t true. She says she wasn’t truthful because she was afraid of Braxton.
In her commutation application, Hall says if she could go back in time, she would seek help from a domestic violence shelter.
“I am responsible for failing my family — for not predicting what Robert was capable of and for placing my children in a dangerous situation.”
“Despite my failures, I did not physically abuse my children. I was an active parent and proud mother. I loved and cared for my children and would appreciate the opportunity to watch them grow up,” she continued.
Hall hasn’t been disciplined for misbehavior since she’s been in prison and she earned her GED in 2013; she’s being held at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud.
Hall applied for clemency in October.
The state Pardon and Parole Board hasn’t considered a commutation in months and more than 100 applications await consideration, some dating back to 2013, said Jari Askins, who served as interim board director from September to March.
“I chose to address the backlog of pardons first and wait until we had a new board appointed to address commutations,” she said.
The board’s new director, Van Guillotte, and the new board, most of whom were appointed this year, are expected to establish commutation procedures and begin considering applications again.
In commutations, recommendations made by the board are just that — recommendations. The final decision lies with the governor, who has made no public comment on the case.
UltraViolet, an advocacy group against sexism, and the Oklahoma Coalition For Reproductive Justice have voiced support for Hall.