This Is Why An Abuse Victim Is Still In Prison After Pleading For Mercy

Tondalo Hall is serving a 30 year prison sentence for failing to protect her children from her abusive ex-boyfriend. The man, who admitted to breaking their baby's leg, got out in two years. Hall, who was not ultimately accused of child abuse, must stay in prison.

Despite an outcry from a national women's group, and a petition bearing 70,000 signatures, Tondalo Hall's plea for mercy was denied Wednesday by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.

Board members voted unanimously against granting her clemency. That means she will remain in prison until at least 2030.

The parole board's chair, Vanessa Price, and vice chair, Patricia High.

Parole board members Tom Gillert and Brett Macy.

Gov. Mary Fallin's office did not respond to a request for comment. Fallin has no direct power to grant clemency, but does appoint three of the five members of the parole board.

Hall was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2006. Authorities said she failed to protect her children from their father, Robert Braxton.

Braxton admitted to breaking the ribs and femur of their three-month-old daughter. He got a two year sentence.

Hall also alleged, in and out of court, that she too had been violently abused by Braxton.

Hall has only seen her children once since she was locked up. She shared letters from her children with BuzzFeed News. One said, “I hope God Let’s [sic] you out of jail.”

The children now live with her cousin, Cynthia Wells, who has full custody.

Reached Wednesday night, Wells told BuzzFeed News that she believed the parole board's decision is an injustice.

"I'm at a loss for words," she said.

Hall's story was part of a BuzzFeed News investigation that found that 28 mothers in 11 states had been sentenced to 10 or more years in prison for failing to protect their children from abusers — despite evidence the mothers themselves had been abused.

For the full story on the latest development, go here.

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