AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday he was working as quickly as possible to pardon Daniel Perry.

One day before, a jury convicted Perry of murdering Garrett Foster during a July 2020 Black Lives Matter protest. That night Perry was driving for Uber when his car entered a demonstration where a group of protesters – including Foster armed with a rifle – were gathering. Perry admitted to shooting Foster, but his attorneys argued it was in self-defense.

In a Twitter post, Abbott said he had requested the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles look at the case to determine if Perry should be pardoned. Abbott said if the Board recommends Perry’s clemency, he would approve it as soon as he received it. 

How do pardons work in Texas?

Clemency is the power to grant a full or conditional pardon. Clemency must be recommended in writing by a majority of the Board of Pardons and Paroles and then approved by the governor.

The Board consists of seven members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Texas Senate. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the board must be representative of the general public and have lived in Texas for two years before appointment.

The clemency process is initiated by an individual, representative, or, in Perry’s case, the governor. The Board then reviews the application for clemency. After the review process, it may choose to recommend or not recommend clemency, but ultimately, it is the governor’s final call. 

In the 2021 financial year, for example, the Board received 140 applications for full pardons from people who were not up for the death penalty. Of all of the applications received, the Board recommended that 75 of the cases be granted clemency, according to TDJC documents.  

In December 2021, Abbott’s office announced that he granted clemency to eight Texans. 

How does the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles decide who should be recommended for a pardon? 

To apply for a pardon, a person must file their offense reports, certified court documents, an official criminal history statement from their sheriff and three letters of recommendation from people outside the family familiar with the applicant. 

In the application for clemency, the applicant must also answer why they are applying for and what successful rehabilitative efforts they have made that make them deserving of a full pardon. 

The Board will then review the application, and Board members will vote on whether they believe the person is worthy of a pardon. If the majority of the seven-member board agrees the person should be pardoned, it will send the recommendation to the governor’s desk. 

A public information officer for the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles told KXAN Monday that they received a request from Gov. Abbott asking for an expedited investigation and a recommendation to pardon Perry. They said the Board has started the investigation.