Abbott Pardons Ex-Army Sergeant Convicted of Killing BLM Protester in Texas

Austin, Texas – Texas Governor Greg Abbott made headlines on Thursday by granting a pardon to Daniel Perry, a former Army sergeant who was previously convicted of killing a Black Lives Matter protester in Austin in 2020. This decision came shortly after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously recommended pardoning Perry and restoring his firearms rights.

Perry’s conviction stemmed from an incident in 2020 during nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice, where he fatally shot an armed demonstrator. Following the conviction, Governor Abbott directed the board to review Perry’s case, promising to sign a pardon if recommended.

In a statement released on Thursday, Governor Abbott expressed gratitude towards the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for their thorough investigation of Perry’s history and the case. The board recommended a full pardon and the restoration of Perry’s full civil rights, citing Texas’ strong ‘Stand Your Ground’ law as a factor in their decision.

The board’s recommendation, as posted on the agency website, followed pressure from former Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, who had urged Governor Abbott to intervene after Perry’s trial conviction in April 2022. Perry was sentenced to 25 years in prison based on evidence from his social media history and text messages, which painted him as a racist capable of committing further violence.

Governor Abbott’s swift response to the board’s recommendation, as seen in his tweet on April 8, 2023, highlighted the importance of upholding self-defense laws in Texas. His proclamation granting the pardon was shared on social media later that day, solidifying Perry’s pardon and restoration of his rights as a citizen.

The case of Daniel Perry and Governor Abbott’s decision to pardon him has sparked debate and discussion on the legal system’s handling of self-defense cases and the implications of using past behavior as evidence. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles’ recommendation and Governor Abbott’s approval have brought attention to broader issues surrounding gun rights, racial tensions, and the interpretation of self-defense laws in the state.