Despite social media posts over the weekend announcing Crystal Mason‘s release from prison for voting while on supervised release, her lawyer said that just wasn’t true. SiriusXM radio host Clay Cane, who has interviewed Mason and her lawyer multiple times, helped clear up the uncertainty.
“I exchanged emails w/ Crystal Mason’s lawyer & she has NOT been released,” Cane tweeted Monday morning. “She’s still in federal custody & serving the remaining 3 months at a halfway house. She’s now facing 5 yrs in state prison & at risk of losing her home.”
Cane included the link to a GoFundMe account started to raise funds for the mother of three who was also at risk of losing her home because of the inability to make mortgage payments while in prison.
Mason’s case is heartbreaking and a gross example of injustice in Texas. In November of 2016, she voted for Hillary Clinton in Fort Worth. She cast a provisional ballot, which wasn’t counted, and was told three months later she had committed voter fraud because she was on supervised released for the non-violent crime of tax fraud. After a long fight, she began to serve federal time and was facing an additional five years from the state of Texas.
There is a deep hypocrisy in how Mason is being treated, considering a white woman from Iowa named Terri Lynn Rote was convicted of voter fraud for purposely trying to cast a ballot for President Donald Trump twice. She was only sentenced to two years probation and a $750 fine. In addition, the district attorney who prosecuted Mason, Sharen Wilson, reportedly asked her staff for personal contact information and then used it to solicit funds for her re-election bid, according to Appeal.org. Legal experts disagreed whether that was a criminal offense, but there is also ambiguity on if Mason actually broke the law or not—yet she was being punished harshly.
Mason has maintained that no one told her she couldn’t vote, nor did she sign anything saying she could not vote while on supervised release.
“I just feel like the whole system failed me,” she said.
Back in January, Alison Grinter released a statement to Cane that read in part, “It’s my firm belief that Tarrant County is continuing to harass Crystal. She became eligible to be transferred to a residential re-entry center in October of last year. However, Tarrant County issued a warrant for her arrest for a sewer violation related to one of her properties.”
If you would like to help Crystal and her family, please click here to donate to her GoFundMe page.