Governors have wide pardoning authority, just as presidents. In their states, they have the power to overturn both a jury judgment and a judge’s ruling. Although there are certain restrictions, it is perhaps one of the few unalienable rights they have.
Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas and a Republican, rarely exercises his right to pardon. As a matter of fact, he only released two of them in 2018, eight in 2021, and seven in 2020. They were all granted on the parole board of the state and were all for minor offenses.
He prioritizes law and order as do the majority of Republican lawmakers. He now intends to release a killer from prison, though.
On July 25, 2020, Air Force veteran Garrett Foster was among a group of BLM protesters that Army Sgt. Daniel Perry came across while operating an Uber in downtown Austin. Both males had their weapons on them legitimately.
I am working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry. pic.twitter.com/HydwdzneMU— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 8, 2023
Lyric Costley, a witness who testified during the trial, allegedly stated that Perry drove rather near to the demonstrators on the night of the incident. Foster was carrying an AK-47 when Perry began to shoot him repeatedly as he approached the car.
Perry said during a police interview that was presented during the trial that Foster did not point a gun at him, but that Perry nevertheless shot Foster because he was frightened he might. The sergeant told Austin police, “I didn’t want to give him a chance to aim at me.” He eventually revised his account, claiming that Foster had actually pointed the gun in his direction and that he had murdered him in self-defense. Foster reportedly didn’t lift his weapon, according to witnesses.
For eight days, Travis County jurors heard testimony in the case, which included proof of Perry’s social media statements in which he claimed Texans could shoot demonstrators and get away with it. On April 7, they returned a guilty verdict for Perry’s murder after 17 hours of deliberation.
Following the verdict’s announcement during the Easter holiday, Governor Abbott criticized it on Twitter. He said that he was trying to get the killer who was convicted pardoned. He continued by stating that since Texas is a “Stand Your Ground” state, citizens are free to use lethal force if they believe their lives are in danger.
However, Texas only permits governors to pardon persons that the Board of Pardons and Paroles judges warrant a pardon, unlike the president and governors in other states. At the moment, the governor has appointed or reappointed all seven board members. They are now examining the case.