A Justice of the Peace in Texas pleaded guilty on Monday (April 23) to voter fraud, but he won’t see the inside of a jail cell for his felony conviction.
Judge Russ Casey received probation on his two-year sentence for turning in fake signatures to get on the Republican primary ballot in March, the Star-Telegram reported.
Casey, who resigned from the bench, had filed a lawsuit demanding removal of a Republican rival from the primary ballot for an invalid number of signatures. It backfired—and that opponent counter-attacked with a challenge against Casey.
An investigation determined that many of the signatures on the petition Casey submitted were false and that Casey signed the form saying that he witnessed all the signatures, according to the prosecutor.
An outcry can be heard over Casey’s light sentence, compared to the sentence that Crystal Mason, received.
On Mach 28, Mason—who is also from Tarrant County, Texas—was sentenced to five years in prison for illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election. Mason, a former offender convicted of tax fraud, said she was unaware that Texas bans convicted felons from voting. When the 43-year-old Black woman didn’t see her name on a list of registered voters, a poll worker handed her a provisional ballot.
This comes against the backdrop of President Donald Trump claiming that Democrats engaged in widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election, thereby giving his rival Hillary Clinton the popular vote. Yet there’s no evidence to support this claim. The president has been noticeably silent about Casey.
At his sentencing, Casey asked for forgiveness. “I apologize to the citizens of Tarrant County, the Tarrant County Republican Party, my family and friends for the way that I have ended my judicial career,” he said.