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Texas Governor Grants Full Pardon to Former Sergeant Convicted of Protester’s Murder

Texas Governor Grants Full Pardon to Former Sergeant Convicted of Protester’s Murder

The former U.S. Army sergeant who was found guilty of murder for shooting and killing an armed protester in 2020 during nationwide protests against police violence and racial unfairness was given a full pardon by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday.

Just a few minutes before Abbott announced the pardon, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles said that Daniel Perry should be pardoned and have his firing rights returned. Perry has been in state jail for 25 years since he was found guilty of killing Garrett Foster in 2023.

Abbott, a Republican, had told the board to look into Perry’s case and said he would sign a pardon if it was suggested. Texas law says that the governor can’t pardon someone without a request from the board, whose members are chosen by the governor.

“Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that can’t be overturned by a conservative judge or DA,” Abbott said.

Jose Garza, the district attorney for Travis County, called the pardon a “mockery of our legal system.”

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Garza said, “The board and the governor have put money and power ahead of justice.” “They should feel bad about what they did.” This state has two groups of people, whose actions are against the law and show that some lives do not matter or mean less than others. His family, his partner, and the people in our town have all been told that his life doesn’t matter.

Tucker Carlson, a former Fox News host, had asked the governor to step in after the sergeant was found guilty at trial in April 2023, and that’s why Abbott asked for a review of Perry’s case. Perry was given his sentence after prosecutors used his text messages and social media past to show that he was racist and might do something violent again.

Prosecutors said Perry could have driven off without shooting, and witnesses said they never saw Foster raise his gun. Foster, who is white, did raise the gun, the sergeant’s lawyers said, so Perry had no choice but to shoot. Perry is also white, but he didn’t testify. The jury thought about his case for two days before finding him guilty.

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In 2020, when protests were going on because a white Minneapolis police officer killed an innocent Black man named George Floyd, the shooting caused a lot of controversy. When Perry was found guilty three years later, many well-known Republicans were furious.

Before the case was sentenced, Carlson said on his show that the killing was an act of self-defense and that Abbott should have come on his show. The next day, Abbott said he didn’t think Perry should be punished and told Texas’ parole board to review the decision as soon as possible.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles is chosen by Abbott, and state law says it has to suggest a pardon before Abbott can do anything.

A lot of Perry’s text messages and social media posts that showed he didn’t like Black Lives Matter protests were made public by the court after the decision but before he was sentenced. Perry said on Facebook a month before the shooting, “It is official I am a racist because I do not agree with people acting like animals at the zoo.”

Perry was in the Army for over ten years. As part of the hearing, a forensic psychologist said that he thought Perry had PTSD from his time in Afghanistan and from being picked on as a child. At the time of the shooting, Perry was at Fort Cavazos, which later became Fort Hood. Fort Cavazos is about 110 kilometers (70 miles) north of Austin.

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