Who Is Mona?

Photo of Mona Nelson, arm raised with a large smile on her face.
Mona (left) after a boxing victory

Mona Nelson is a Black woman from Houston Texas, a loving daughter and mother, an ex-pro boxer and a professional welder.  

In 2013 Mona was wrongfully convicted of capital murder, and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. The District Attorney involved in Mona’s case has since come under public scrutiny for repeated misconduct.* During Mona’s questioning and subsequent trial, members of the Houston Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office committed acts of perjury on the witness stand and obtained evidence through illegal means.

A three-judge panel of the Fourth District Texas Court of Appeals upheld the judge’s decision in 2015.

Mona is currently in the process of filing a writ of habeas corpus at the state court level in hopes that her case will be overturned. Mona has never pleaded guilty to the charges brought against her, and maintains her innocence to this day. 

What is #Justice4Mona?

#Justice4Mona is a coalition of concerned citizens working together to help Mona obtain her freedom. We are also actively working to end mass incarceration and the abuses of the Criminal Injustice system. We believe that this system is deeply flawed, that it hurts people (especially queer people and people of color) rather than helps them to heal, and that punitive punishment is not a viable method to keep our communities and loved ones safe.

Wrongfully imprisoned in Gatesville, Texas, Mona and her fellow inmates experience frequent injustices at the hands of a corrupt US Prison System and the personnel who run it.

This site is dedicated to exposing these injustices as well as bringing to light the mishandling of Mona’s case in the Texas court system. We hope that by publicizing Mona’s experiences, we may be able to shed light on, and eventually put an end to, the cruel machine that is our country’s prison system. We also hope that our efforts will garner the attention and concern that may one day help Mona and other women like her to gain their deserved freedom.

Who created this page?

“My name is Gamma. I’m an artist and prison abolitionist from Chicago, Illinois. In 2015, I began writing to Mona through a prison pen pal program facilitated by Black and Pink, a prominent abolition group which seeks to serve the needs of incarcerated LGBTQIA+ people and their families. Over the course of our five years of correspondence, Mona and I have grown to know and trust one another. In 2017, we decided to begin collaborating on a blog that would share her story and help garner the kind of online attention that might help her gain her freedom and help bring about the end of mass incarceration in the US.” – Gamma

“My name is Coral. I am a social and environmental justice advocate hailing from the beautiful Driftless Region of SE Minnesota. In 2019 I began working with Justice4Mona, taking on primary responsibility for web development and managment, freeing Gamma up to focus on legal advocacy.” – Coral

Because Mona is in prison, she does not have access to the technology and online resources that would allow her to share her story on her own behalf. She has asked us to keep this page updated and managed as her story and case unfolds. We do not post on this site without Mona’s consent. What you read here is the work that Mona and her allies on the outside are doing together. This is Mona’s story.

*Flynn, Meagan. “Criminal Defense Lawyers Say ADA Connie Spence Shouldn’t Be a Judge.” Houston Press, 4, 24 Oct. 2019, http://www.houstonpress.com/news/criminal-defense-lawyers-say-ada-connie-spence-shouldnt-be-a-judge-8808397.

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