TX Woman on 8-Year Sentence for Illegal Voting: They Made an Example of Me
A Texas woman who was sentenced to eight years in prison for illegally voting is crying foul, saying the state made an example out of her.
"It's not fair," said 37-year-old Rosa Maria Ortega, arguing she didn't know the difference between being a legal permanent resident of the United States and being a citizen.
In a jailhouse interview, Ortega took issue with the sentence handed down by a Fort Worth judge, arguing that a sentence of that kind should be for people who committed "real crimes."
The punishment for Ortega, a legal resident and mother of four who has lived in Texas since she was a baby, has made national headlines in the wake of President Donald Trump's repeated claims of rampant voting by non-citizens.
Her lawyer called Trump's claims "the 800-pound gorilla sitting in the jury box." He also said she voted Republican, including for Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose office helped prosecute her.
Authorities, however, said Ortega knowingly falsified her voting applications by stating she was a U.S. citizen. She was convicted on two counts of illegal voting, but had reportedly been casting ballots since 2005.
What do you think of the sentence?