The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has denied the Travis County’s district attorney’s attempt to overturn Gov. Greg Abbott’s pardon of Lt. Sgt. Daniel Perry. 

In 2023, Perry was convicted of murder after shooting and killing Garrett Foster, an armed Black Lives Matter protester, in downtown Austin during the 2020 riots. During his trial, Perry’s defense team stated that Foster raised a firearm at Perry, leading Perry to use his handgun in self-defense. 

A Travis County jury gave a guilty verdict. Perry was subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison. However, after an intensive investigation, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended that Abbott grant Perry a full pardon and restore his Second Amendment rights. Shortly after the board’s decision, Abbott pardoned Perry.

Soon after granting Perry’s parole, Travis County DA Jose Garza and his office asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to reverse the pardon, claiming Abbott had exceeded his authority.

On Wednesday, the court denied Garza’s motion. The decision was made without issuing a formal opinion. 

Abbott celebrated the news, posting to X, “Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denies request by leftist Travis County District Attorney to reconsider my pardon of Daniel Perry. The Court got it right. My authority is based in the Texas Constitution.”

Although Garza’s challenge was denied, Democrat attorneys general from Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. have urged U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to look into the matter. Their letter questions the validity of Texas’ “stand your ground” law, saying the law could encourage vigilantes to attend protests. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.