Whiny Travis County DA Runs to Legal Mommy Because He Doesn’t Like Texas Guv’s Pardon

by Vern Evans
Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s pardon of a man who shot an armed protestor during the BLM riots is being challenged. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner) AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM; MAGS OUT

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In a controversial, and arguably partisan move, Travis County District Attorney José Garza announced this week that his office is seeking to overturn Governor Greg Abbott’s recent pardon of Daniel Perry. Perry, an ex-Army sergeant, was convicted of murder for defending himself during a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Austin.

The day after Perry’s conviction in April 2023, Governor Abbott requested the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to review the case. Last month, the board unanimously recommended a pardon, which Abbott granted immediately, citing Perry’s right to self-defense.

Garza’s office has filed a petition with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, arguing that the governor’s intervention disrupted the judicial process. Garza contends that Perry’s case did not meet the criteria for a pardon and accused Abbott of overstepping his authority. Holly Taylor, director of the Division of Public Integrity and Complex Crimes in the DA’s office, claimed that Abbott’s actions violated the separation of powers doctrine.

“When Governor Abbott issued the pardon, not only did he circumnavigate the process for pardons, he exceeded his authority and violated the separation of powers doctrine,” Taylor said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Garza emphasized the need to challenge the pardon to uphold the judicial process. Sheila Foster, Garrett Foster’s mother, supported Garza’s efforts, expressing concern that Abbott’s pardon could encourage similar acts of violence, despite evidence that it was Foster, armed with an AK-47 who menacingly approached Perry to set of the chain of events that led to his demise.

“My own child was killed on American soil for doing nothing but practicing his First and Second Amendment rights, and our governor just said, ‘That’s OK, that’s acceptable,’” Foster stated.

The case has gained national attention, with attorneys general from 14 states urging the Department of Justice to investigate whether Perry violated Foster’s civil rights. New York Attorney General Letitia James called on the DOJ to ensure justice is served when state systems fail. Of course, big shocker, all of the AGs who signed on to the letter, are Democrats, who were fine when the protesters were burning cars in the streets and looting businesses in what at the time the Dems kept insisting were “peaceful protests.”

In fact, to buoy their arguments, they even used left-leaning groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety and Armed Conflict Location & Events Data, as well as partisan-driven hacks posing as legitimate researchers to sell the lie that the violence you saw on your news, of black and white BLM supporters trashing America’s communities, were actually, right-wing extremists.

No doubt, where left-wing extremists arise, right-wing ones will show up, too. The problem is maybe extremism at both ends. But the Dems work overtime to discount the ones whose views they wish to promulgate and like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, they want to simply say, “pay no attention to what you really see, you need to look at what I want you to see.”

They blame Abbott for being partisan, even as they are being blatantly partisan.

The facts of the case should stand on their own, though there is some cloudiness in the matter depending on what your read about the case. Perry, who was driving for a rideshare company at the time, encountered Foster at the protest after he turned onto a street crowded with protestors. Perry claimed he shot Foster in self-defense after Foster allegedly raised an AK-47 at him, a claim that is at the heart of the “Stand Your Ground” law. Perry and his supporters argue that his conviction was an infringement on this fundamental right and was made to make a political point.

Doug O’Connell, Perry’s lawyer, dismissed Garza’s filing as “political theater,” asserting the executive branch’s pardon power is well-established. The governor can pardon whomever he wishes.

“The pardon power of the executive branch is a well-settled Constitutional authority,” O’Connell said on social media.

Following his pardon, Perry was released from prison within hours, highlighting the influence of conservative voices like former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former Texas GOP Chair Matt Rinaldi, who advocated for Perry’s right to self-defense against violent protests.

As the legal battle unfolds, Garza’s office remains committed to challenging the pardon, arguing that Governor Abbott’s actions undermine the justice system and the separation of powers.

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