Over the weekend, many people rejoiced thinking Crystal Mason was released from federal custody for voting while on supervised release in November of 2016. However, as NewsOne reported Monday, she was still in federal custody, serving the remaining three months of her sentence at a halfway house. That said, Mason was still facing five years in Texas state prison and is currently at risk of losing her home.
She and her lawyer Kim T. Cole on Tuesday unexpectedly called into “The Clay Cane Show” on SiriusXM Urban View for her first interview since being incarcerated in September. Mason thanked everyone who has fought to keep her story in the press.
“I am just so humbled, grateful and appreciative of everything, of all the support,” she said. “I was sitting in the newsroom and I saw me come up on CNN — when they were talking about Paul Manafort sentence. They was comparing my story… I’m just grateful right now. I’m just trying to fight this situation and get justice.”
Mason’s lawyer also wanted to clear up any false reporting.
“Crystal is not out of federal custody. She is out of federal prison, but she is still in federal custody and serving out the remainder of her 10 month federal sentence in a halfway house,” Cole said. “I know you’re sharing her GoFundMe. She is in the foreclosure process — they’re about to foreclose on her home. So that’s what the GoFundMe is for.”
Cole continued: “Her 10-month federal sentence should be complete in July. So we want her to be able to have a home to go to while she fights this state case. The state case is still on appeal. The ACLU just joined us last week.”
Clay Cane, who has been advocating for Mason for months, called out Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott for ignoring this case, which is what the radio host called a clear example of Jim Crow. Cole stressed how Mason’s incarceration coupled with her facing an additional five years was “politically motivated” in the red state of Texas.
“It is a tactic for voter suppression,” Cole explained. “So I hope your listeners are not deterred from voting because that is why we’re in this situation because the powers that be — the prosecutor, the District Attorney who prosecuted Crystal is elected. The judge who sentenced crystal is elected, the governor, who has the ability to pardon crystal or commute her sentence, is elected. It is imperative that we vote.”
Mason echoed Cole’s sentiment.
“Reach out to Governor Greg Abbott… Give him a call and let him know that this is not right,” she said. “At this moment right now, he could fix this matter. He has that right, he could fix this right now.”
Mason also said she was looking for employment in Fort Worth or the Dallas area, preferably in customer service or collections.
Mason’s troubles stem the November 2016 election, when she voted for Hillary Clinton in Fort Worth. She cast a provisional ballot, which wasn’t counted, and was told three months later that she had committed voter fraud by participating in the election while on supervised release for the non-violent crime of tax fraud. 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.
Listen to a clip from Monday’s show below.
If you would like to help Crystal and her family, please click here to donate to her GoFundMe page.