By AFP Staff
On May 7, the Texas Supreme Court ordered the release of salon owner Shelley Luther, who had been jailed and fined for opening up her business in violation of the state’s mandates. The ruling came about as Gov. Greg Abbott (R) amended his executive to specifically eliminate jail time as a consequence for violating the restrictions.
Luther rose to fame in a viral video after she respectfully told the judge she would not apologize for trying to feed her family and provide jobs to her employees.
According to the latest figures, more than 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment, forcing some states into bankruptcy.
“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” Abbott said in a statement. “That is why I am modifying my executive orders to ensure confinement is not a punishment for violating an order. This order is retroactive to April 2, supersedes local orders, and if correctly applied should free Shelley Luther.”
Abbot continued: “As some county judges advocate for releasing hardened criminals from jail to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is absurd to have these business owners take their place.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick both called for Luther’s release and offered to pay her fine.
Click here to read the original report on Luther.
Deprivation of rights under color of law.
Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.
The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.