Texas Court Orders Review Of Black Woman’s Illegal Voting Conviction

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By Nigel Roberts, BET

Crystal Mason gets a chance to clear her name and overturn a five-year prison sentence.

Texas’ highest criminal court on Wednesday (May 11) ordered a lower appeals court to take another look at its controversial decision to uphold Crystal Mason’s voter fraud conviction, The New York Times reports. The ruling creates the possibility that the lower court will now overturn the conviction.

In 2018, Mason was convicted of illegal voting and sentenced to five years in prison. Her offense was casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 general election while on supervised release from prison on federal tax evasion charges.

Mason’s attorney has argued that she didn’t know at the time that it was illegal for a felon on probation to vote under Texas law.

But the lower appeals court in 2020 upheld the conviction, ruling that Mason’s ignorance of the law “was irrelevant to her prosecution,” as the Times reported, quoting the lower court’s decision.

Read more about this ruling.

The Black vote has long been suppressed and discouraged, but voters have had enough.

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