TX DA to Challenge Governor’s Pardon of Ex-Soldier Who Killed BLM Protester

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**Progressive Prosecutor Challenges Governor’s Pardon in Fatal BLM Shooting Case**

A county prosecutor in Texas has launched a potent challenge to Governor Greg Abbott’s pardon of a former soldier who fatally shot a Black Lives Matter protester during a demonstration in 2020.

**The Pardon and the Conviction**

Daniel Perry, the former soldier, was convicted last year of murdering Garrett Foster, an Air Force veteran and BLM protester, during a downtown Austin protest. Foster was carrying an AK-47 rifle at the time of the shooting, while Perry claimed he fired in self-defense after Foster pointed his weapon at him.

Perry’s eventual conviction carried a 25-year prison sentence.

**Governor’s Pardon and Prosecutor’s Challenge**

In May 2024, Governor Abbott granted a full pardon to Perry, sparking outrage and condemnation from the victim’s family, activists, and many in the legal community.

Travis County District Attorney José Garza has announced plans to file a writ of mandamus with the Court of Criminal Appeals to overturn the pardon. Garza vehemently criticized the governor’s actions, calling them a “mockery of our legal system” and “contrary to the law.”

**Alleged Circumvention of Authority**

Holly Taylor, director of Public Integrity and Complex Crimes, argues that Abbott’s pardon violates the separation of powers doctrine. She claims that the governor overstepped his authority by interfering in the judicial process.

**Victim’s Family’s Outcry**

Shiela Foster, Garrett’s mother, expressed deep anguish and outrage over the pardon. “It was planned, it was premeditated,” she said. “Nobody should be okay with this.”

**Defense Attorney’s Response**

Doug O’Connell, Perry’s attorney, criticized Garza’s actions as “political theater.” He asserted that the executive branch’s pardon power is well-established and that the court is unlikely to overturn the pardon based on Taylor’s “novel theory.”

**Prosecutor’s Progressive Stance**

José Garza has earned a reputation for his progressive approach to the criminal justice system. Previously, his office has declined to pursue certain criminal charges, including those for violent offenses, before suspects have had their day in court.

**Conclusion**

The legal battle over Daniel Perry’s pardon has ignited intense debate and scrutiny of the Governor’s actions. District Attorney José Garza’s challenge to the pardon is poised to test the limits of executive authority and the integrity of the judicial process.

The ongoing case is expected to draw significant attention and shape the future of criminal justice and the rule of law in Texas.