The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, announced on Saturday that he intends to pardon a man who was found guilty of murdering a 28-year-old who was carrying a legal firearm during a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin in 2020. Abbott also criticized the prosecutor’s office that had secured the conviction.
“Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand your ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or progressive district attorney,” Abbott said on Twitter. The Board of Pardons and Paroles is mandated by law in Texas to provide recommendations on pardons, which the governor can then choose to grant or reject.
“I have made that request and instructed the board to expedite its review. I look forward to approving the Board’s pardon as soon as it hits my desk,” Abbott tweeted. “Additionally, I have already prioritized reining in rogue District Attorneys, and the Texas Legislature is working on laws to achieve that goal.”
When asked what exactly this endeavor would involve, Abbott’s office could not immediately comment. On Friday, a jury in Texas found 37-year-old Daniel Perry guilty of murder in the 2020 killing of Garrett Foster during nationwide protests over police brutality. The two males, Perry and Foster, are both Caucasian.
If Perry murdered Foster, who was armed with an AK-47, it would come down to whether or not he was acting in self-defense. The Washington Post earlier reported that Perry, an Army Sergeant stationed at Fort Hood in 2020, was working for a ride-sharing firm on the night he sped onto a local street crowded of demonstrators.
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When Perry saw the demonstrators crossing the street in downtown Austin, he blared his horn. Foster walked up to Perry’s side window with an AK-47 strapped on his chest. In the great state of Texas, you can carry a loaded firearm openly.
Videos of the incident show demonstrators running and screaming as gunfire erupts. Once Foster was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead, Perry got into his car and left. According to The Post, when Perry turned himself in to the police, he explained that he had fired five shots from his handgun because Foster had aimed his own gun at him.
The Austin American-Statesman stated that Perry’s lawyers argued their client had no alternative but to fire Foster when the latter approached Perry’s automobile brandishing an AK-47. Prosecutors countered that Perry had ample time to escape the area in his car before resorting to gunfire.
Texas governor wants to pardon man who killed Black Lives Matter protester https://t.co/GrRy6wmPGS
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 9, 2023
The newspaper reported that witnesses testified that Foster never raised his weapon towards Perry, despite claims to the contrary from Perry’s defense team. After two days of deliberation, the jury found Perry guilty of murder. He will be sentenced on Tuesday and is likely to receive a life sentence.
If Perry is given clemency in Texas, he will be released from prison, but that does not mean the conviction would be expunged from his record. No one from Perry’s legal team, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, or the Travis County District Attorney’s Office responded right away to a request for comment.
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