#TSRUpdatez: Crystal Mason, a Texas woman who was sentenced to five years in prison for illegally voting, is getting help from some heavy hitters as she seeks a new trial.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Texas Civil Rights Project announced Friday that they will assist Mason by getting her some of the top voting rights attorneys in the country to represent her, @blackvoices reports.
Many feel Mason was severely sentenced after she was convicted in 2018 of illegally voting in Texas while on supervised release for a previous federal felony conviction. She maintains that she had no idea she was ineligible to vote.
Now, she’s expressing her gratitude for both high-profile groups joining her legal team. “I am very grateful and I hope that justice will prevail here,” said Mason in a statement.
Because she was convicted of a crime while on federal supervised release, Mason was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison in addition to the five-year sentence she received in the state case.
She was released from federal prison last week.
Mason’s lawyers told the Court of Appeals in November she deserves a new trial because the statute she was convicted under is vague, and that the ballot she cast ultimately didn’t even count since it was a provisional ballot. They also argue that she received ineffective counsel from her trial attorney.
Oral argument is set for the case on June 4 in Fort Worth, Texas.
“The prosecution of Crystal Mason for the innocent mistake of casting a provision ballot that wasn’t even counted is a severe injustice,” Andre Segura, an attorney with the ACLU of Texas who will help represent Mason, said in a statement. “Ms. Mason simply attempted to follow the law and participate in what she believed to be her civic duty, and in return has been sentenced to an outrageous length of time in prison.”
Stay here for any updates, Roommates.
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh