Lest We Forget

Lanisha Bratcher

In December 2019 The Guardian reported that the District Attorney of Hoke County in North Carolina, Kristy Newton, charged Lanisha Bratcher with a class I felony for voting while serving a criminal sentence.

Lanisha Bratcher had been on probation when she voted in 2016. She claims that she didn't know that she was ineligible to vote. In the article the Guardian provides links to documents from state officials who recognised that there were problems in the state's justice system to inform convicts of their voting righs and that Lanisha Bratcher may have voted illegally unintentionally. But this did not keep DA Kristy Newton to apply a North Carolina law from the Jim Crow-era which was intended to keep African Americans from casting their vote.

After being accused of using a racist law to prosecute an African American woman DA Kristy Newton changed the original charge and provided two new indictments under the same law, which essentially doubled the sentence, if Lanisha Bratcher will be convicted.

Lanisha Bratcher is now facing 19 months in prison for each of the two charges.

It's a shame that North Carolina still has this racist law. It is worrisome that District Attorney Kristy Newton using it.