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The prosecutor has requested a Texas court to overturn the governor’s pardon of the man who fatally shot a demonstrator

Daniel Perry enters the courtroom (Via Alex Hazelwood/Getty Images)

The Texas governor’s pardon of a former Army sergeant who fatally shot a participant in a Black Lives Matter protest undermines the state’s legal system and constitution, according to a prosecutor on Tuesday.

Travis County District Attorney José Garza announced he is asking the Court of Criminal Appeals — the state’s highest criminal court — to review the pardon issued by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Garza criticized the pardon, stating it mocked the legal system and prioritized politics over justice.

“We will continue to pursue justice through the legal process,” Garza said at a press conference in Austin.

Daniel Perry shot and killed Garrett Foster during a protest in downtown Austin in July 2020. Perry was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison in May 2023, prompting immediate calls for a pardon from conservative circles. Abbott granted the pardon last month, leading to Perry’s swift release from prison.

Garza argued that the hasty pardon bypassed the established appeals process available to Perry and violated the state’s constitutional principle of separation of powers.

United States Courthouse building (Via Jake Marsh/Shutterstock)

Abbott’s office did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

All nine judges on the Court of Criminal Appeals are Republican. Garza noted that the case stands out in state history due to the speed of the pardon request and approval, as well as his appeal to the appeals court to intervene.

“This is all uncharted territory,” he remarked.

Perry’s legal team defended the pardon and the process initiated by Abbott as fully in line with the state constitution. Perry’s attorney, Clint Broden, accused Garza, a Democrat, of being politically motivated in his prosecution of the case.

According to Broden, the governor, acting on the recommendation of the state Board of Pardons and Paroles, has absolute authority to pardon based on any grounds, including actual innocence.

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