The Texas Board of Pardons and Parole removed George Floyd’s name along with 24 others from a list of people recommended for pardons by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over “procedural errors and lack of compliance with board rules.”
Fox News reported late Thursday afternoon that Abbott granted a total of eight full pardons earlier in the day but Floyd wasn’t one of them.
Earlier, the Texas board unanimously recommended a posthumous pardon for Floyd over a 2004 drug conviction after his death at the hands of Minneapolis police in May 2020 sparked months of angry protests and riots across the country. Texas engages in an annual holiday tradition of handing out pardons; typically, the governor issues pardons and clemency for people who were convicted years ago of minor offenses.
Despite the board’s recommendation, Abbott had not said one way or the other if he planned to pardon Floyd, who had spent most of his life in the Lone Star state before he moved to Minnesota.
“Through the gubernatorial pardon, the Governor of Texas has the unique power to grant Texans a second chance,” said Abbott in a statement. “I have the utmost respect for our state’s legal system, having served as a trial court judge, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Attorney General.
“These men and women have demonstrated their dedication to turning their lives around and helping their communities, and I thank the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for our ongoing partnership to strengthen our justice system and reduce recidivism in the Lone Star State,” Abbott continued.
“The Board of Pardons and Paroles has withdrawn 25 clemency recommendations that contained procedural errors and lack of compliance with Board rules,” added gubernatorial spokesperson Renae Eze. “Among the recommendations withdrawn was one concerning George Floyd.
“The Board will review and resolve procedural errors and issues related to any pending applications in compliance with their rules. As a result of the Board’s withdrawal of the recommendation concerning George Floyd, Governor Abbott did not have the opportunity to consider it. Governor Abbott will review all recommendations that the Board submits for consideration,” Eze continued.
However, Allison Mathis, a public defender in Houston who made an application for Floyd’s pardon, told the Dallas Morning News she was not told of any mistakes in the process, suggesting further that removing Floyd’s name from consideration “smacks of something untoward.”
“Greg Abbott and his political appointees have let their politics triumph over the right thing to do and what clearly is justice. This is actually outrageous,” she charged on Thursday. “I expected an up or a down vote. I did not expect this kind of misconduct.”
Fox News reported that should the board decide to take another look at the application, Floyd can be pardoned at a later date.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 years in prison in April for third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd. In September, he filed his own appeal of the conviction, alleging several reasons why he believes the trial and the verdict were tainted.
In May, a federal grand jury indicted him and three other officers — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Kueng — on three counts of civil rights violations. The other three former officers were also fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and charged in connection with Floyd’s death.
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