Texas declines to pardon late George Floyd — Analysis

A petition to Governor for an erasure of a police-inflicted drug conviction was rejected by the state clemency board

Texas’ clemency board has officially rejected George Floyd’s request for a posthumous pardon. Floyd was murdered in protest by police after his death. Although initially recommending that his slate be deleted, the panel reversed their decision last year.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously against calling on Governor Greg Abbott to grant a rare revision of a person’s criminal record after their death, the Texas Tribune reported on Thursday. 

The letter sent to Floyd’s attorney Allison Mathis, to notify her about the decision was first published by a reporter for the Marshall Project, a non-profit outlet covering criminal justice news. It did not explain the board’s reasoning for rejecting the petition.

Mathis was a Houston public defense attorney who petitioned for Floyd’s pardon over his April 2021 drug conviction. After Floyd was convicted of drug offenses in 2004, Mathis, a Houston public defender petitioned the board to pardon Floyd.

Gerald Goines was also charged with murder in connection to a botched 2019 drugs raid. Inventing confidential informants was one of the charges he faced during his investigation. He also lied to discredit defendants.

Last defendants in George Floyd case get prison terms

Floyd had been recommended by the board to be pardoned in October of last year. However, it was rescinded two months later. The governor’s office said at the time that the clemency body would review the case to “resolve procedural errors and issues”. His press secretary stated that Abbott would not be able to consider the pardon without receiving a recommendation.

Mathis, Floyd’s attorney, told the Tribune that Texas had missed a chance “to do a small, good thing: to take an apolitical stance that no matter who a person is, their rights need to be respected and an accurate record of their life is important.”

Floyd was shot and killed by police officers in May 2020. Witnesses captured the incident, which quickly became viral via social media. National protests were held against the brutality of police officers and racism sparked by this footage.

Derek Chauvin, the white officer who held his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes as he was restraining the black man, was convicted in April 2021 of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.


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