By: Ryan Garza, The Associated Press, and Scripps National
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the pardoning of eight Texans on Thursday.
“Through the gubernatorial pardon, the Governor of Texas has the unique power to grant Texans a second chance,” Abbott said. “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.”
The clemency recommendations were provided by the Texas Board Of Pardons And Paroles, but not all recommendations were carried out. The recommendation for George Floyd, whose murder, committed by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin and was one of the catalysts of a police reform movement in May of 2020, was not granted.
“The Board of Pardons and Paroles has withdrawn 25 clemency recommendations that contained procedural errors and lack of compliance with Board rules,” said Renae Eze. “Among the recommendations withdrawn was one concerning George Floyd.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.”
Floyd spent much of his life in Houston before his death.
In October, Texas’ parole board sent Abbott a unanimous recommendation to pardon Floyd. In 2004, Floyd was arrested by a former officer whose police work is no longer trusted by prosecutors.
The Republican governor typically hands out pardons around Christmas, but he has remained silent over what would be only the second posthumous pardon by a Texas governor.
“I just don’t want it to die on his desk,” said Allison Mathis, the public defender who put the request before the parole board, according to the Texas Tribune. “Up or down, one way or another, just give us an answer.”
The Texas Tribune reports that as anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests took place across the country, Abbott was quick to share his support of law enforcement. And while he did sign into law that took some steps to limit police chokeholds and other dangerous maneuvers, he did not issue comment.
These were the eight people who were granted clemency:
- David Boyd Pool, 74, for theft in 1965 in Galveston County. Pool was sentenced to two years of probation.
- Gary Lynn Dickey, 42, for burglary of a vehicle in 1997 in Washington County. Dickey was sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication probation.
- Christina Marie Edgar, formerly Christina Marie Emmert, 52, for theft in 2013 in Dallas County. Edgar was sentenced to three years of probation and a $1,500 fine.
- Subrina Sophus-Collins, formerly Subrina Maeca Sophus, 54, for unlawfully carrying a weapon on alcohol premises in 1994 in Harris County. Sophus-Collins was sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication probation and a $500 fine.
- Olukayode David Koleosho, 46, for robbery in 1996 in Fort Bend County. Koleosho was sentenced to three years of deferred adjudication probation and a $300 fine.
- David Anthony Mendes, 46, for theft in 1994 in Collin County. Mendes was sentenced to three years of deferred adjudication probation.
- Joe Bob Wilcoxson, 76, for theft in 2013 in Ellis County. Wilcoxson was sentenced to three years of probation and a $2,500 fine.
- Joseph Edward Braithwaite, 59, for evasion of income taxes in 1999 in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Braithwaite was sentenced to a $150 assessment.
“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,” said Abbott.
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