Prosecutor pushes to overturn Texas governor's pardon of man convicted of murdering BLM activist

 June 6, 2024

A prosecutor in Texas wants to overturn Republican governor Greg Abbott's pardon of Army veteran Daniel Perry, who was convicted of murder for shooting dead a Black Lives Matter activist in the summer of 2020.

The Harris County prosecutor who brought the case against Perry, Jose Garza, will ask an appeals court to reverse Abbott's "unlawful" pardon.

"The Board of Pardon and Paroles, and the governor, put their politics over justice and make a mockery of our legal system," Garza said. "For that, they should be ashamed of themselves. Their actions were contrary to the law."

Push to overturn pardon

Perry was sentenced to 25 years in prison last year. The politically charged case highlighted divides that were inflamed during the summer of 2020, as widespread protests and riots broke out following the death of George Floyd.

Perry was working as an Uber driver in Austin on the night of July 25, 2020, when his vehicle was surrounded and assaulted by activists who were blocking the street. 28-year-old Air Force veteran Garrett Foster, carrying an AK-47-style rifle, approached Perry's vehicle and was shot dead by Perry.

Perry claimed that Foster had pointed his gun at him, but witnesses said they never saw Foster brandish the gun.

Abbott fulfilled a promise to pardon Perry in May, saying the former Army sergeant acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Foster.

"Texas has one of the strongest 'Stand Your Ground' laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney," Abbott said in a statement announcing the pardon.

Governor fires back

The pardon brought backlash from Foster's loved ones and Democrats who said Abbott was bending the law to help a vigilante.

Garza, a Democrat, claims that Abbott circumvented the appeal process with the "unlawful" order," which came with the recommendation of the state's Board of Pardons and Paroles.

In response, Abbott wrote that Garza's plan to reverse the pardon is "NOT GONNA HAPPEN."

"The Texas Constitution provides: In all criminal cases, the Governor shall have power, after conviction, on the written signed recommendation and advice of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, to grant pardons," he wrote on X.

Perry's lawyer Clint Broden said that Abbott has the "absolute power to pardon a person on any grounds including the grounds of actual innocence."

14 attorneys general have pressured the Justice Department to open a federal civil rights probe into Perry.

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