Free Wrongfully Imprisoned Tasha Shelby

Free Wrongfully Imprisoned Tasha Shelby

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Emily Girvan-Dutton started this petition to Tate Reeves (Governor of Mississippi) and


On the 16th of June 2000, Tasha Mercedez Shelby was wrongfully convicted of capital murder. She was sentenced to life without parole. The jury held that Tasha had killed her two-and-a-half-year-old stepson little Bryan by shaking him to death.

The prosecution relied on the since disproven diagnostic tool Shaken Baby Syndrome ('SBS'). 

Since Tasha's trial, the medical understanding of SBS has drastically changed. The theory is no longer supported by recent scientific studies and these developments have led many medical experts across the world to change their minds. 

One of these experts is medical examiner Dr LeRoy Riddick. Dr Riddick originally testified in Tasha's case that little Bryan's death was due to shaking/non-accidental head trauma.

However, Dr Riddick has changed his mind on little Bryan's cause of death. He now believes little Bryan died as a result of a hereditary seizure condition which caused him to fall out of his bed and sustain fatal head injuries. 

In 2018, Dr Riddick subsequently changed little Bryan's death certificate from 'homicide' to accidental death. 

The death certificate says that no homicide nor crime occurred. Yet, Tasha Shelby still remains indefinitely behind bars. 

Sign this petition and help us free Tasha Shelby from her wrongful imprisonment. We need as many voices as possible to come together and put pressure on Mississippi's justice system and those in power to correct this injustice and free Tasha. 

We don't need money, only your voice. Any money given through this site goes to directly, it helps in promoting our petition but is not necessary and we encourage people to not donate but just share with as many people as they can. 

The evidence proves Tasha's innocence.

  • Little Bryan was observed as displaying seizure-like behaviours in the weeks leading up to his death such as rolling his eyes, zoning out, and forgetting how to do things like use a knife and fork. 
  • Little Bryan's family had a history of seizures which he may have inherited. 
  • Little Bryan had a neurology appointment scheduled for the week after his death. This shows his family had concerns for his neurological development and the seizure-like behaviours he was exhibiting. 
  • Little Bryan was two-and-a-half. The usual age of an alleged victim of SBS is a baby under the age of one. By two-and-a-half, a toddler's neck is much stronger and more supportive than that of a baby. 
  • Tasha had just had a cesarean section and had her tubes tied two weeks before little Bryan's death. She was still in recovery and had stitches. She was told by her nurses that if she lifted anything heavy, her stitches would open. Little Bryan weighed 33lbs (heavy for his age). Tasha's stitches never opened. 
  • Biomechanical studies have also shown that when a model of an infant is shaken, the head accelerations reached are not high enough to cause injury. Additionally, other studies have found that as the mass of the infant increases, the head accelerations measured during shaking decrease. Therefore, the head accelerations seen for a 33lbs toddler (like little Bryan) would not be high enough to cause injury.

Tasha may be running out of options. Your signature could change everything and help exonerate an innocent woman. 

Her legal team is currently in federal court litigating Tasha's innocence - help us put pressure on the Mississippi Justice System to release her!

Find out more about Tasha's case and how you can help on

Stay updated on our Twitter @JusticeForTasha

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!