- The Washington Times - Monday, September 16, 2019

A Texas woman who received five years in prison for illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election slammed the criminal justice system as “unfair” after actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison as part of the college admission scandal.

Crystal Mason — who said she didn’t know she wasn’t allowed to vote while on supervised release for a federal crime — called out the U.S. justice system for allowing Huffman to receive less jail prison on Friday for paying an SAT proctor to boost her daughter’s SAT scores.

“I don’t wish this for anyone, but a sentence to 14 days for actual serious fraud just shows how unfair my sentence is. I’m hopeful the Justices will see that under the law, I shouldn’t have been convicted in the first place,” she said in a statement to HuffPost.

Huffman — the former star of “Desperate Housewives” — also received 250 hours of community service, a $30,000 fine and a year probation following her release.

Many online quickly compared Huffman’s sentence to people like Mason’s for being much harsher than what a rich, white celebrity would receive.

Mason claims she didn’t know she was breaking the law and that she “didn’t even want to vote” when she cast a provisional ballot in 2016 while being on supervised release from a 2011 sentence.

Texas law prevents felons from voting in elections until they complete their sentence, and despite her ballot being rejected, a prosecutor said the vote proves Mason had “no regard for the law” and she was charged for illegally voting. She received 5 years of the potential 20 she could have received.

Mason is out on an appeal bond, but she said her conviction led to her being fired from her job.

“As I depend on others to help me stay afloat with my gofundme account now…I can’t help but to wonder if I had money would this be a topic today,” Mason said.

Ms. Huffman is the first of 34 parents charged in the scandal to be sentenced. Some of them paid upwards of $500,000 to help propel their children into elite universities.

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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