A Texas woman who was sentenced to five years in prison for illegally voting will have to serve time in federal prison for a parole violation.
On Thursday, Crystal Mason, 43, was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for violating her parole that stemmed from her 2011 case for tax fraud, Star-Telegram reports.
Mason was also given 26 months of probation in the case and has to report to prison in two weeks, U.S. District Judge John McBryde said on Thursday.
In March, Mason was sentenced to five years in prison by a state court for voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election.
Her attorney, Alison Grinter, said that the McBryde, who brought up Mason’s past crimes in court, should not have used that against her in this most recent case, according to Star-Tribune.
“This is really about whether someone can be rehabilitated,” Grinter said on Thursday outside the courthouse. “We are deeply disheartened that Mason is returning to prison for voting in the 2016 presidential election. The federal government has stepped over the state. But we’re grateful that the attorney for the government agreed to allow her to spend two weeks with her kids.”
Mason’s case has been viewed as unusual because most people convicted of voting illegally in the state do not go to prison, per the Star-Tribune, which obtained records from the Texas Attorney General Office.
Another attorney of Mason, Kim Cole, said that this is an example of prosecutorial over-reach, an assessment prosecutors disagree with.
“This is akin to a public lynching,” Cole said.
“The DA’s office has said that we will not apologize for enforcing the laws of the State of Texas. It is against state law for a person on federal supervised release to vote in Texas,” said Matt Smid, chief of the White Collar Crime and Public Integrity Unit of the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.