America is still destroying any notion that we can be just. Five years? Many others convicted of the same offense get a fine and probation. It’s called “disparity in sentencing”, and such disparities deeply undermine respect for the courts. This case reminds me of another Texas case I saw when I was fresh from law school, in 1973: some idiot judge sentenced a man to 40 years – 40 years! – for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Worse, when the case reached the U S Supreme Court, those Bozos lost their senses and ruled that it was not “cruel and unusual punishment”!
No doubt the most widespread suffering as a result of idiotic sentences is that of addicts. Thank God that officials are starting to realize – because people like you and I SPEAK OUT – that prison is not the answer. Perhaps some of them read this law drafted by my friend, Dr. Floyd McDowell, though they did not enact it! READ Crime Prevention Bill
Back to the “violent voter” (no violence, of course, but you can kill someone and get less than 5 years!). When one goes to prison, one can lose everything, like I did. Your income, in most cases, stops. Unless you have a friend or loved one to safeguard your property, it will all be gone. Just think about the huge costs to society (your tax dollars by the BILLIONS, and, more profoundly, lives ruined and the disrespect for law which I mentioned) produced by such simple minded judges and the whole system they so smugly control. Astronomical!
Said the prosecutor: “the affidavit was “a stop sign in front of her face.” And to him I say: “since when do you get 5 years for running a stop sign?!”. And if I could talk to him to his face, I would add “you asshole”!
I remember when the system was fair, and weep.
Excerpts from the Article:
Crystal Mason, 43, of Tarrant County was convicted of tax fraud in 2011 and was on supervised release when she headed to polls to cast her vote, The Dallas Morning News reported. However, in Texas, felons cannot vote until they have completed their entire sentence, including supervised release, according to the state’s election code.
Mason, who served almost three years in prison, said she was never told she could not vote and that she would never risk her freedom to do so. She faced two to 20 years in prison or probation.
“I inflated returns,” Mason told The Star-Telegram. “I was trying to get more money back for my clients. I admitted that. I owned up to that. I took accountability for that. I would never do that again. I was happy enough to come home and see my daughter graduate. My son is about to graduate. Why would I jeopardize that? Not to vote … I didn’t even want to go vote.”
An investigation into Mason’s voter status was launched after a worker at a polling station reported problems with her ballot, Samantha Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office told The Morning News. Mason’s name was not on a list of registered voters.
An election judge offered Mason the option to vote provisionally after signing an affidavit, which states a voter is not a felon or that they have served their full sentence. Mason signed the form without reading it carefully, she said.
In illegal voting cases like Mason’s, prosecutors are required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the person was aware they were breaking the law by voting. Tarrant County prosecutor Matt Smid told The Morning News the affidavit was “a stop sign in front of her face.”