In 2008, Tameka Drummer and her sister, Charisma Warren, claim they were visiting family in Corinth when they were pulled over for an expired tag and police found two ounces of marijuana inside their car.
This was not Drummer’s first run-in with the law, she had three felony convictions in Shelby County, Tennessee. One in 1992 for involuntary manslaughter, one in 1998 for aggravated assault, and another in 2007 for possession of cocaine.
But under Mississippi’s “habitual offender” law, you are classified as a habitual offender if you have to have at least two prior felony convictions and one must be for a violent offense. In Drummer’s case, two of her prior offenses are considered violent.
Recently, an online petition, created by Jacqueline Temple, has been circulating asking for Governor Reeves to release Drummer, who’s been serving time for the last 12 years.
“You have the awesome power to give Tameka and her family their life back. Give a mother the chance to hold her child again. You hold her life in your hands,” Temple writes on the petition page. “Her release would save Mississippi taxpayers untold amounts of money and resources but also remove the stain of this injustice from our collective conscience.”
On Monday, a question about the case was brought to Governor Reeve’s attention at his press conference.
“I am not considering pardoning her at this time. I have heard of the case but I am not familiar with all of the facts,” Governor Reeves said.
Almost 42,000 people have signed this petition, and the goal is to get 50,000 signatures.
“I have seen that she has been in jail for 12 years because of having two ounces [of marijuana]. I have heard that story, and I understand she was convicted on the habitual offender rule,” Governor Reeves said. “I don’t know what her other priors were, so I don’t know all the facts in the case so I don’t plan on pardoning her or anyone else at this time but we will certainly look into it.”
That will cost the state over a million dollars predicting she lives to her 70’s or more if she lives longer.