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ACLU seeks re-examination of Tondalao Hall case

Tondalao Hall, 33, is serving time in an Oklahoma prison for failing to report that her boyfriend was abusing her children. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections)

Leaders from local organizations that advocate for domestic violence victims came together at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Wednesday to announce their support of a legal challenge to Tandalao Hall's prison sentence.

"What we're filing in a day or two here is called a habeas corpus petition," ALCU of Oklahoma legal director Brady Henderson said. "It's something that's rarely seen in the state of Oklahoma and it's designed to deal with injustice when all else has failed."

Henderson said a lot has gone wrong since the original abuse occurred to Hall's children.

In 2004, Hall was tried, convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for failing to protect her children when she entered a blind plea.

When the prosecutor didn't get Hall to testify against the man who actually abused the children, Robert Braxton, the maximum sentence he could get was eight years of probation.

"It was about a state that simply doesn't see some people as people and Tandalao was one of those," Henderson said. "What this court case is all about is trying to force the courts to see Tandalao as a person."

Henderson said there may not be a quick resolution to the new filing and it could go all the way to the United States Supreme Court. But he said he feels he has a good case.

"You can't treat them the same way as somebody who from the very beginning comes up with this idea that I'm going to do this really evil thing and thinks through it and premeditates it," he said.

The case is going to be filed in Pottawatomie County, where Hall is being held at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center.

We reached out to the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office, but they said they will not comment until the new filing is made.

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