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Texas parole board will consider recommending pardon for man convicted of shooting BLM protester

By Christopher Kirkman
|
May 13, 2023

The Texas parole board has been asked to consider a pardon in the case of Army Sergeant Daniel Perry who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for fatally shooting a Black Lives Matter protester in 2020.

Perry claimed that he fired in self-defense after Garrett Foster allegedly raised his rifle at him while Perry was driving a ride-sharing vehicle in Austin.

The Background

"The Texas constitution limits Abbott to a pardon only on the recommendation by the state Board of Pardons and Paroles, putting the fate of the convicted killer in the hands of seven members," the Daily Mail reported.

"Led by former Lubbock County Sheriff David Gutierrez, the committee is formed entirely of those either appointed by Abbott or re-appointed during his time in office," it added.

The Sentencing

Perry was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Wednesday despite Gov. Greg Abbott's previous support for his pardon in his claim of self-defense.

“I look forward to approving the board’s pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk,” Abbott wrote.

“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.

Perry's Attorney Responds

"Attorney Clinton Broden said the defense team would pursue both a pardon and a standard appeal in the court system," according to the Associated Press, following Wednesday's sentencing.

“Those who claim that Governor Abbott’s expressed intent is based on politics simply choose to ignore the fact that it was only the political machinations of a rogue district attorney which led to Sgt. Perry’s prosecution,” he said.

Those prosecuting Perry claimed that the sergeant's racist memes and desire to kill protesters served as evidence of his guilt.

“He had some kind of complex PTSD, mixed in together with autism, and then you throw in this lethal military training and then he will react to perceived threats immediately and with severe consequences,” Travis County Assistant District Attorney Guillermo Gonzalez said Tuesday.

“And he’s going to do it again," Gonzalez further claimed in the statement.

The case is one of a growing number of concerning cases in which Americans have been prosecuted despite self-defense claims.

Kyle Rittenhouse was deemed not guilty in the shooting deaths of two men in Wisconsin during riots. In a more recent case, a New York veteran is expected to be charged with manslaughter after a man died while he subdued him with a chokehold after the man's threat of violence to subway passengers.