Texas governor seeks to pardon man convicted of BLM protest murder
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Saturday that he would pardon Daniel Perry, who less than 24 hours prior had been convicted of murder in the death of a Black Lives Matter protester.
Abbott, who has made a name for himself as one of the most conservative governors in the country, tweeted that "Texas has one of the strongest 'stand your ground' laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or progressive district attorney." Abbott added that while the Texas constitution does not allow the governor to issue pardons without a recommendation by the state's parole board, he had requested that they do so "and instructed the board to expedite its review."
Perry was convicted of murdering Garrett Foster, and faces a sentence of life in prison. On July 25, 2020, Perry had been working as an Uber driver in Austin when he drove toward a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters. At this point, Foster approached Perry's vehicle carrying an AK-47 rifle, The New York Times reported. Perry admitted that he shot Foster with a .357 revolver through the window of his car after Foster allegedly raised his rifle at him.
While Perry's legal team insisted that he acted in self-defense, the Times noted, prosecutors alleged that Perry had instigated the encounter, and reportedly wrote on social media that he might "kill a few people on my way to work."
Foster's brother, Ryan Foster, told the Austin American-Statesman that Perry should not be pardoned, calling his brother's killing "clearly premeditated" and saying Perry "wanted to kill a protester and saw somebody exercising their Second Amendment right."
David Wahlberg, a former Travis County criminal court judge, told the Statesman it was "outrageously presumptuous" of Abbott "to make a judgment about the verdict of 12 unanimous jurors without actually hearing the evidence in person."