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Abbott’s request to expedite pardon for soldier who shot armed BLM protestor has been granted

By Ben Marquis
|
April 12, 2023

When U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry was convicted last week for the 2020 murder of armed Black Lives Matter protester Garrett Foster during a anti-police protest in Austin, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott immediately announced that he would seek a pardon for the soldier.

Abbott's call for a pardon on Saturday was answered on Monday when the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles announced that it had launched an "expedited investigation" of Perry's case at the governor's request, the Daily Mail reported.

Under Texas law, the governor cannot unilaterally extend clemency but must first seek a recommendation and approval from the state's Pardons and Paroles board.

Board to conduct an "expedited" review of Abbott's request

Local CBS affiliate KEYE reported Monday that Rachel Alderete, the board's director of support operations, said in a statement, "Chairman [David] Gutierrez, the Presiding Officer of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has received a request from Governor Abbott asking for an expedited investigation, along with a recommendation as to a pardon for U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry."

"The board will be commencing that investigation immediately. Upon completion, the board will report to the governor on the investigation and make recommendations to the governor," she added.

That followed a statement issued by Gov. Abbott just two days prior, in which he said, "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."

"Unlike the president or some other states, the Texas Constitution limits the Governor's pardon authority to only act on a recommendation by the Board of Pardons and Paroles," he explained.

"Texas law DOES allow the Governor to request the Board of Pardons and Paroles to determine if a person should be granted a pardon," Abbott continued. "I have made that request and instructed the Board to expedite its review."

"I look forward to approving the Board's pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk," the governor added. "Additionally, I have already prioritized reining in rogue District Attorneys, and the Texas Legislature is working on laws to achieve that goal."

Texas AG says "rogue prosecutors" have "weaponized" the justice system

A similar message, at least with respect to progressive Democratic district attorney who oversaw the prosecution of Perry, was issued on Saturday by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, according to Fox News.

"Self-defense is a God-given right, not a crime," Paxton said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the Soros-backed DA in Travis County cares more about the radical agenda of dangerous Antifa and BLM mobs than justice."

"This week has shown us how rogue prosecutors have weaponized the judicial system. They must be stopped!" the attorney general added.

Self-defense or murder?

The "rogue" prosecutor who both Gov. Abbott and AG Paxton referenced is Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, who charged Sgt. Perry with the murder of Foster following a grand jury indictment almost exactly one year after the fatal incident had occurred, per Fox News.

On the night of July 25, 2020, the Ft. Hood-stationed Perry was driving an Uber in downtown Austin when he came upon a BLM protest that had blocked an intersection and then surrounded his vehicle, with some protesters allegedly beating on the car.

Among those protesters was Foster, who was armed with an AK-47 rifle and approached Perry's vehicle with the weapon held at the low ready position in front of him and aimed in Perry's direction, which prompted Perry to fire his own revolver in self-defense at the perceived threat, ultimately killing Foster. The soldier then drove away to a safe location to call 911 and report what had happened.

Facing potential life sentence in prison

Unfortunately for Sgt. Perry, prosecutors from DA Garza's office managed to convince a jury that the soldier had not acted in lawful self-defense but instead committed an act of premeditated murder.

If Perry is not pardoned by the board and Gov. Abbott and the conviction stands, he could face a sentence of up to life in prison.