Crystal Mason - non-violent felon sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for voting
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Crystal Mason begins prison sentence in Texas for crime of voting - Oct '18
Mason’s crime was to cast a ballot in the 2016 presidential election. An African American woman, she had been encouraged by her mother to do her civic duty and vote, in her case on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
When she turned up to the polling station her name was not on the register, so she cast a provisional ballot that was never counted. She did not read the small print of the form that said that anyone who has been convicted of a felony – as she had, having previously been convicted of tax fraud – was prohibited from voting under Texas law.
The Guardian highlighted her plight last month. For casting a vote that was not counted, she will now serve 10 months in the federal system. While locked up it is likely that her final appeals in state court will be exhausted, which means she could be passed at the end of the 10 months directly to state custody for a further five years.
Her lawyer, Alison Grinter, said she was dismayed to see Mason ripped from her family. “This is an act of voter intimidation, not the will of a free people.”
Grinter added: “Make no mistake: this is a clarion call to our over-policed and over-prosecuted communities of color. You are not welcome in the voting booth, and any step out of line will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.” Mason’s case is one of the more dramatic examples of voter suppression in Texas. The state has been at the forefront of Republican moves to place hurdles in the way of voting since 2013 when the US supreme court overturned a key element of the Voting Right Acts that had prevented largely southern states from discriminating against minority citizens.
Crystal Mason Being Harassed By Texas County, Lawyer Insists - Jan '19
Crystal Mason’s lawyer, Alison Grinter, released a statement via “The Clay Cane Show” today on SiriusXM Urban View.
Cane read on air that according to Grinter, “Crystal tells us that things are getting rough at the prison where she is, FMC (Federal Medical Center), Carswell. Guards aren’t showing up to work because they’re unpaid. There’s some concern that conditions could become unsafe if the shutdown continues.” As we all know, due to Trump’s illogical border walls, federal employees are not being paid, which includes many correctional officers at prisons.
The statement continued, “We filed a motion for the judge to convert the remainder of Crystal’s sentence (10 months of which she’s served 4) to home confinement. We highlighted that Crystal is a nonviolent offender, poses no threat to the public, and will be released comparatively soon notwithstanding. We also appealed to the judge to reduce the burden on those guards who are still showing up to work unpaid. The motion was opposed by the prosecutor and denied almost instantaneously by her judge.”
Cane reports Grinter also added, “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.”
Man On Probation For Voting But Crystal Mason Is Still In Prison - March '19
Datwaon Collier, 28, of Anderson, Indiana, who appears to be African American according to public records, is at the center of this latest instance. According to the Herald Bulletin, Rebecca Crumes, who was seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the District 36 seat in the Indiana House last year, paid “Collier $30 for gas money to drive around and collect registrations in Anderson. When interviewed by May, Collier said Crumes registered him to vote and asked if he knew other people who needed to register. Collier said Crumes offered him $1 for every person that he registered.”
Collier allegedly used names from his cell phone, made up the addresses and signed the forms. The 28-year-old said he didn’t know he was committing a crime and apologized to Crumes. The Herald Bulletin reported that he will serve “12 months on probation after pleading guilty to 30 misdemeanor counts of voter fraud.” He must also complete 50 hours of community service.
Collier not going to jail was the right call, but that type of judicial discretion should clearly also apply to Mason, a mother of three, who was sentenced twice — once for violating state law and once for violating federal law.
Strictly speaking this is old news (dating back to 2018) but I don't remember seeing this in SH so I'm posting for good measure. Seems like something that should be here. Disgusting waste of taxpayers' money here, all involved in the judicial process from prosecutors to judge ought to be taken down the river and told about the rabbits.
Is this a currently developing story?
guess thats what you get for votingt Hillary.
It's old-ish news (stretching from Oct '18 to March '19) but I felt it was worth posting here.