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Black Mason, who was convicted of voter tax fraud in 2016, will have his case reconsidered thanks to the Texas Criminal Court of Appeal.
A local Tarrand county judge convicted Mason of voting illegally in 2018 because he gave a preliminary vote in the 2016 election. Mason has long argued that this was an honest mistake and that he did not know he could not vote.
Being supervised upon release a federal tax offense, advised Mason, a poller, to cast a preliminary ballot in the 2016 election. However, because of his criminal conviction, the people of Texas will not be able to vote if they serve part of the federal sentence.
The Texas Criminal Court of Appeal remanded Mason’s case back to another appellate court for reconsideration last week.
Mason has been released from prison since the 2018 conviction on appeal. This was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in 2020.
The main argument of his lawyers is that Mason did not know he did not have the right to vote. Mason’s attorneys argued that Texas state law provides that knowingly illegal voting is the key to convicting a crime.
“I am pleased that the court has acknowledged the problems with my conviction and I am ready to defend myself against these cruel charges,” Mason said. “My life has come almost apart from what was, at worst, an innocent misunderstanding of the issue of a temporary note that was never even read. I have been called to this fight for the right to vote and will continue to serve my community.
The Texas Supreme Court is reconsidering the Crystal Mason case
The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals said the appellate court “erred in not requesting evidence that [Mason] knew that voting under supervised release was a criminal offense.
The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals said the law was misinterpreted and “would lead to absurd consequences that the legislature could not have imagined.”
“The state had to prove not only that [Mason] He knew he was under supervision, but also that he “actually understood” that “these circumstances” actually “made him unfit to vote,” Judge Jesse McClure III wrote in a majority of 8: 1.
Crystal Mason has expressed this error has taken his life. He lost his job after he was initially charged with illegal voting and was sent back to federal prison for several months because he was charged with a crime while under supervision. He also lost his home money during this time as his teenage children took over the household.
“Crystal should never have been convicted. In fact, she should not have even been charged with a crime for an innocent mistake protected by federal law. Now there is a chance to win justice. and overturns Crystal’s conviction, “said Kim T. Cole, Ms Mason’s lawyer.