Crystal Mason is a 43-year-old Black woman in Fort Worth, Texas, who attempted to vote during the 2016 general election. After casting a provisional ballot — that wasn’t counted — she was told three months later she had committed voter fraud because she was on supervised released for the non-violent crime of tax fraud. Mason has been out on appeal, but tomorrow she is going to court and her lawyers say more than likely she will be locked up for five years in federal prison.
Today, Mason and her lawyer Alison Ginter were guests on “The Clay Cane Show” on SiriusXM Urban View. An emotional Mason said, “Everything is just really overwhelming, just knowing everyday my freedom is on the line. My kids, my son is in college, his freshmen year — football scholarship — he wants to come home, I don’t want him to do that. I go to court on the 30th, his first game is September 1st.” She continued, “You come home, you tell your kids you are never going to leave them again, everything is right, you show them how you are rehabilitated. You do everything right. You get a job within three days of being out. You go to school. … I’m showing them if you hit a bump in the road, you can pick yourself up and recover. I just feel like the whole system failed me.”
Mason also explained no one told her she couldn’t vote, nor did she sign anything saying she could not.
Mason’s lawyers have asked for a new trial, but Judge Ruben Gonzalez refused in June. Her lawyer Alison Grinter explained, “Crystal was convicted at a bench trial with different counsel, then we started the appellate process. She got an appeal bond, the state of Texas says, ‘You are fine to be out and living your life pending the outcome of the appeal.’ If the appeal says the judge was right then you are going to have to serve your sentence. If the appeal says the judge was wrong — like we believe they were—then you are fine.”
Grinter continued, “The state of Texas is content to wait and see what the court says, the federal government, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily have to do that. They can revoke Crystal’s supervised release on the basis of her having violated one of the laws from the state of Texas. What I think is just absolutely God-smacking is that Texas really isn’t sure that she violated the laws of the state of Texas yet. That is still on appeal, but the federal government is ready to charge ahead. There’s just not any willingness from Jeff Sessions to stop and listen, there’s no waiting. They are perfectly content to make permanent when maybe there’s no need to do that.”
In a racist double standard, a white woman from Iowa named Terri Lynn Rote was convicted of voter fraud for trying to vote for President Donald Trump twice. Her punishment? She was sentenced to two years’ probation and a $750 fine.
Sadly, despite protests in Fort Worth, Texas, the power is in the hands of the courts and Mason could be in prison this time tomorrow. Mason said, “Just keep me in your prayers. I thank you guys for supporting me. I thank you guys for giving me this opportunity to even let my story be heard. Just keep my family in your prayers.”
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Listen to a clip below of Mason on “The Clay Cane Show” on SiriusXM Urban View.