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Texas Gov. Abbott Moves To Pardon Former Army Sgt. Following Murder Conviction

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Saturday he will intervene as far as state law allows to pardon a former U.S. Army sergeant who was convicted by a jury in liberal Austin after being charged with murder stemming from a shooting during BLM protests in the summer of 2020.

Daniel Perry, whose attorneys argued that was acting in self-defense, was convicted on Friday. “I am working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry,” Abbott said in an announcement.

Fox News noted that Abbott said in his tweet that pardons in Texas must be recommended by the Board of Pardons and Paroles. “I have made that request and instructed the board to expedite its review,” Abbott said, adding that he looks forward to signing the pardon if it makes it to his desk.

Perry was found guilty of murder on Friday after fatally shooting a Black Lives Matter protester who was holding an AK-47. Perry had claimed self-defense, and the Austin Police Department initially supported his version of events.

On July 25, 2020, Perry, who was stationed at Fort Hood, was driving for Uber in downtown Austin when he encountered a large group of protesters illegally blocking city streets. According to the police, protests that night were part of the weeks-long rioting in Austin, and elsewhere, Fox News noted.

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According to Perry’s defense team, the protesters encircled his vehicle and started hitting it, and among them was Garrett Foster, who was carrying the semi-automatic rifle. Perry’s team claimed that Foster raised the firearm at Perry, forcing him to use his legally carried handgun in self-defense and shoot Foster.

“When Garrett Foster pointed his AK-47 at Daniel Perry, Daniel had two-tenths of a second to defend himself. He chose to live,” Doug O’Connell, an attorney for Perry, told Fox News Digital last year in a statement.

“It may be legal in Texas to carry an assault rifle in downtown Austin. It doesn’t make it a good idea. If you point a firearm at someone, you’re responsible for everything that happens next,” he added.

Abbott noted that Texas has some of the strongest “stand your ground” laws in the country, and they “cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney.”

Here is his full statement:

“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.

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“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. Texas law DOES allow the Governor to request the Board of Pardons and Paroles to determine if a person should be granted a pardon. 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.

“Additionally, I have already prioritized reining in rogue District Attorneys, and the Texas Legislature is working on laws to achieve that goal.”

Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, who brought the case against Perry, has faced criticism for allegedly pursuing charges against him for political reasons rather than on the merits of the case. Additionally, some have noted that Garza has received financial backing from progressive billionaire George Soros, Fox News noted.

“Self-defense is a God-given right, not a crime. Unfortunately, the Soros-backed DA in Travis County cares more about the radical agenda of dangerous Antifa and BLM mobs than justice,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement to Fox News Digital after Perry’s verdict was announced.

“Right now we are completely focused on preparing for Daniel’s sentencing hearing,” O’Connell told Fox News Digital after Abbott’s tweet about a pardon.

“I visited Daniel in jail this morning. As you might expect, he is devastated. He spoke to me about his fears that he will never get to hug his mother again. He’s also crushed that this conviction will end his Army service; he loves being a Soldier,” O’Connell added.

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