Texas Mother of Two Gets 5 Years for Vot­ing While Black and on Pro­ba­tion

Trillions - - Contents -

43 year-old Crys­tal Ma­son was re­cently sen­tenced to five years in prison for the high crime of vot­ing while on pro­ba­tion. She also hap­pens to be black. Ms. Ma­son had just fin­ished a three year sen­tence in prison for help­ing clients of her tax re­turn prepa­ra­tion busi­ness pay less in­come tax.

No one told her that felons on pro­ba­tion could not vote in Texas nor did she read the fine print on the bal­lot stat­ing that for­mer felons must com­plete their pro­ba­tion be­fore they can vote in Texas.

When Crys­tal voted she did not re­al­ize that it was il­le­gal.

"You think I would jeop­ar­dize my free­dom? You hon­estly think I would ever want to leave my ba­bies again? That was the hard­est thing in my life to deal with," Ma­son told the Star-tele­gram. "Who would— as a mother, as a provider—leave their kids over vot­ing?"

In com­par­i­son, a white woman in Iowa who de­lib­er­ately tried to cast two votes for Don­ald Trump was given 2 years pro­ba­tion and a $750 fine.

Tar­rant County, where Crys­tal en­gaged in her vot­ing crime spree, is tough on mi­nor­ity vot­ers. Per­ma­nent res­i­dent Rosa Maria Or­tega made the mis­take of vot­ing while His­panic and not a U.S. cit­i­zen and was given an eight-year sen­tence last year after she voted in 2012 and 2014. She told a judge that she hadn't re­al­ized she couldn't vote as a le­gal per­ma­nent res­i­dent.

Some states make vot­ing rules clear and it is dif­fi­cult to reg­is­ter to vote if you aren't qual­i­fied. Texas is not one of those states.

Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Dept. of Ed­u­ca­tion, from 1979– 2013 Amer­ica in­creased spend­ing on ed­u­ca­tion by 107%. Dur­ing the same pe­riod, the na­tional aver­age spent on pris­ons in­creased by 324% while in Texas spend­ing on pris­ons in­creased by a whop­ping 850%.

Pris­ons are big busi­ness in Texas and the prison in­dus­try ac­tu­ally writes the leg­is­la­tion that en­sures that more Tex­ans go to prison and pays the cor­rupt politi­cians to en­act the dra­co­nian leg­is­la­tion.

Since all judges in Texas are elected, the prison in­dus­try can also in­flu­ence the elec­tion of judges to en­sure that more peo­ple like Crys­tal Ma­son are sen­tenced to hard time and prison prof­its soar.

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