In a highly controversial case that has ignited debates surrounding self-defense and racial tensions, Daniel Perry, a former U.S. Army sergeant, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of Garrett Foster, a white man who was protesting the death of George Floyd in Austin, Texas, last year.
Perry argued that he acted in self-defense when Foster raised his gun at him, but the jury found him guilty of murder in April.
During the trial, Perry recounted the events of that evening, saying that he was driving for Uber when he encountered a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who surrounded his car and hit him with spray paint cans.
Perry claimed that Foster, who was carrying an AK-47 across his chest, approached his car, said something quietly, and then raised his weapon. According to the 35-year-old, the fear of getting shot prompted him to shoot Foster with a revolver.
“That’s when I got my weapon and pulled the trigger as fast as I could, and then drove away and called 911,” Perry told police. He then turned himself in to authorities.
However, the prosecution argued that the killing was not in self-defense and that Perry is a dangerous man. The jury ultimately agreed with the prosecution, leading to Perry’s conviction.
Despite the guilty verdict, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has promised to pardon Perry as he considers the verdict a nullification of Texas’ Stand Your Ground laws, which allows people to use potentially lethal force to protect themselves from the attack of an aggressor without fear of criminal prosecution.
In a statement issued in April, the governor revealed that he has forwarded a request to the Board of Pardons and Paroles regarding the case, in accordance with Texas constitution, which requires the board to make a recommendation on a case before the governor can grant a pardon.
“I look forward to approving the Board’s pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk,” he said as he went on to criticize the prosecutor in the case, District Attorney Jose Garza, for undermining the law and violating Perry’s rights to protect himself.
I am working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry. pic.twitter.com/HydwdzneMU
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 8, 2023
The decision to pardon Perry has been met with criticism from those who believe that he should serve his full sentence. However, some Americans look forward to him regaining his freedom and have been wondering how far Abbott has come with the promise.
This is taking longer than we expected. https://t.co/Pxevt6DtKC
— BAM 🏴 (@bronzeagemaga) May 11, 2023
While the status of Perry’s pardon is unclear, NPR has confirmed receipt of a request from Abbott regarding the case, per NPR.