Oklahoma woman’s 30-year sentence commuted for child abuse committed by ex

Nov. 8 (UPI) — Oklahoma on Friday released a woman who has served 13 years in prison for failing to protect her children from abuse by her ex-boyfriend — who never served a day in prison — after a commutation from Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Tondalao Hall, 35, left Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, Okla., after 13 years in prison and two years in jail. She received a 30-year prison sentence in 2006 after pleading guilty to the state’s failure to protect law — which carries the same penalties as child abuse.

Her former boyfriend, Robert Braxton Jr. pleaded guilty to child abuse and after serving two years in prison, was sentenced to 10 years of probation. He beat her children so severely the youngest, a 3-month-old, had broken bones.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma represented Hall in her attempt to have her sentence commuted. The organization said she, too, was abused by Braxton.

“While we rejoice in Hall’s freedom as she exits the prison gates, we are haunted by the knowledge of all the other women who remain incarcerated for failing to stop the crimes of their abusers and recognize the countless other families torn apart by Oklahoma’s failure to protect laws,” said Megan Lambert, ACLU of Oklahoma staff attorney.

“This is just the first step toward addressing the injustices of the failure to protect statute. We look forward to the day that all the other women wrongfully imprisoned for the crimes of their abusers follow Hall to freedom.”